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How Plumbing Has Made a Positive Impact on Health and the Environment

On 3/11, it’s World Plumbing Day, when some people take the time to think about how plumbing has changed the world for humans. This annual event is relatively recent, it started in 2009, but plumbing is well overdue for some serious recognition. We often forget about our plumbing systems because they are hidden away, and we take our clean water and sewage lines for granted. In this article, we will take a closer look at the origins of plumbing, how it’s evolved, and the positive impact it has on human health and wellbeing.

The Earliest Plumbing Systems

We have to go right back to around 1700 BC to see the first ever plumbing systems. Around that time in Crete, the first flushing toilets were invented to direct waste away from the home. These ideas were adopted and developed by the Roman Empire, and they added aqueducts to carry fresh water to Rome and other cities. Archeologists believe that at their height of use, the Roman aqueducts systems carried approximately 1.2 billion liters of water each and every day. As we move into the modern era, we see an increasing uptake in first outdoor and then indoor plumbing. We also see the development of water disinfection using chlorine to improve public health and virtually eradicate waterborne diseases.

Modern Plumbing Systems

These days we are becoming used to amazing developments in modern plumbing systems. We now have Energy Star rated appliances that are designed to be more efficient without any loss in performance. There are low flow toilets available to save water and money on every single flush. In many areas of the world, we have access to clean water and healthier plumbing that would be the source of envy of our ancestors. But, there are areas in the world that still have out of date water systems that are prone to waterborne diseases. Hopefully, in the years to come, we will see the rest of the world brought up to the standards of first world plumbing.

4 Interesting Plumbing Facts

Let’s take a look at four modern plumbing facts that may surprise you.

  • Over 1 billion people gained access to a water supply line for the first time between 2000 and 2015.
  • Approximately 2.1 billion people (3 in 10 worldwide) do not have access to a supply of clean and safe water in their homes.
  • Around 4.5 billion people (6 in 10 worldwide) do not have a toilet installed in their home.
  • Approximately 360,000 children aged under five die every year from ingesting dirty water that contains waterborne diseases that cause diarrhea.
  • As you can see, access to clean water is increasing, but globally speaking, there is still a lot of room for improvement. Having access to clean and safe supplies of water and effective sewage systems has a dramatic effect on health and wellbeing.

    The Importance of Water Conservation

    In the future, access to clean water will be even more dependent on conserving water effectively. A rising global population will place even more strain on our finite water supplies, and we will need to take steps to make the best use of our water. Saving water is good for our environment, it places less strain on our infrastructure, and it saves money on your utility bills.

    5 Water Conservation Facts

    Let’s take a look at five water conservation facts that you may find interesting.

  • The EPA has made calculations on the volume of water used when showering. Most of us shower for around 8 minutes each morning, and according to the EPA, this uses 20 gallons of water per shower. If we can cut our showering time in half, we can save 10 gallons of water per person per day. Over the year, this adds up to a significant volume of water saved.
  • Capturing gray water is a great way to re-use water at home, but a comprehensive system requires some plumbing work. An easier way to get started is to place a bucket in the shower to catch water before it goes down the drain. This water can be used to water your plants or clean your driveway.
  • When you run hot water from your faucet for around five minutes, you consume the same amount of energy as it takes to run a standard 60 watt bulb for almost an entire day.
  • An undetected internal water leak from your toilet tank into your bowl can waste almost 100 gallons of water each day. If you can hear a hissing or dripping noise, you may have a toilet leak in your home. This can be confirmed by adding a little food dye to the tank and seeing if it makes its way into the bowl. If you have a toilet leak, you need to seek help from a local certified plumber today.
  • If you see any water around the base of your toilet, it’s likely that there is a leak under the base. This can cause water damage that will compromise the integrity of your bathroom floor. It’s also a waste of water, and it makes sense to get it fixed quickly to prevent further damage and save more water.
  • Switching to Energy Star Appliances

    Many manufacturers have a range of appliances that are designed to be more energy efficient. But, they also make water using appliances that are designed to save water without compromising on the performance of the machine. These appliances have an Energy Star rating to demonstrate how efficient they are. It is true that these types of appliances have a higher purchasing cost, but the water and energy savings made in the medium to long term more than make up the difference.

    If you’re interested in saving water in your home, contact a local certified plumber for expert help. They can fix your water leaks, install more efficient fixtures, and offer advice on the best appliances to save even more money.

    By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
    Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.