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Sewer System History

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The History of Drains Through the Ages



Most of us don’t think about drains and what they do for us, that is until they stop working and start causing some trouble! Without the invention of drains, we’d be living in a foul-smelling world! Here is a bit of trivia you may find interesting.

Drains were first invented in 2500 BC by the Egyptians. Our pyramid loving friends were the first documented people to create drainage systems. As water played such a special and large part of their purification rituals, clean and healthy water was a must and a functioning drainage system was a huge help.

In 1700 BC in Crete at the Minoan Palace which was well ahead of its time on a technological basis, they had installed four drainage systems that emptied sewage into huge sewers they had created out of stone. Not content with this they also went on to create irrigation, aqueducts and deep wells which provided fresh water.

As most of us know the Romans around 800 BC loved their baths, but without the sewer systems and clean, safe water the Roman Baths as we know them would have been a horrible breeding ground for disease and bacteria.

In 1775 in good old England Alexander Cumming patented the first two-part flushing toilet, a design we are still familiar with today, albeit with a few modernisations along the way. This for Oxford was a great idea as in 1832 Oxford suffered the first of three devastating cholera epidemics. Henry Aclands pioneering work showed that poor housing and lack of proper drainage and sanitation was to blame. This prompted an enquiry and after other outbreaks of the disease it was recommended that a covered main sewer was constructed which would run to a new treatment works, it would include the installation of main drainage to houses, and the replacement of cesspools and privies with proper water closets (WCs).

So you can see that we owe our ancestors a great debt of gratitude in allowing us to live in clean and sanitary environment. We must make sure that we look after our drainage systems well and immediately address any drain issues we encounter, by using reputable drain cleaning company such as ourselves.

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