In a previous post, we’ve covered the History of Plumbing, but what we have not covered is how plumbers are heroes to the world. Without plumbers, civilizations would not exist.
Why do we think plumbers are heroes? Well, not just because they are plumbers, but because they are the real heroes of the world.A World without Plumbing
Civilization did not just pick-on the idea of plumbing. In fact, since the decline and eventual fall of the Roman Empire, many civilizations just didn’t bother with good plumbing. Baths and lavatories were not so common anymore. The average commoner simply didn’t bathe during the Dark Ages. Chamberpots being emptied out of the windows in the mornings became a common way to deal with waste at home.

With such unsanitary living, diseases became easy to spread. In fact, during the Dark Ages and stretching out to renaissance period, the average life expectancy of a person was between 30 and 40 years. Waste was often thrown into the nearby river, and the same river was used to get drinking water. A person was simply more likely to die from a disease than war.

 

The Black Plague is a testament to the poor plumbing and sanitation situation. It spread across the globe, leading to the death of 200 million within 7 years.

Cholera
Over the centuries, the human race has been afflicted with many diseases, but it was a cholera case that led to the world realizing the importance of plumbing. In 1854, London was battling a cholera outbreak at Broad Street. 127 died of Cholera within 3 days. A physician, John Snow, investigated the outbreak and came to realize that water infection was the cause of the outbreak. At this point in time, germ theory was not well accepted and the miasma theory, or it spreads through bad air, was the accepted theory. John Snow established that a single well pump in Broad Street caused the spread of cholera. He traced the cause to a woman who washed a dirty diaper at the pump.

Plumbing Continues to be a Problem
Many third world countries continue to face the problem of disease and many of them can be directly related to poor plumbing infrastructure. A country such as India has more mobiles than it does have toilets.

Human waste carries many diseases and plumbing systems are the most efficient way of disposing of waste correctly.

Plumbers have been saving the world for centuries. Sure, vaccines and such save lives, but you know what they say, “Prevention is better than cure”, and that is exactly what good plumbing is.


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