Plumbing is something we use everyday without thinking, but life without this technology would be very different (and smelly). This week, we celebrate this technology with five interesting facts you didn’t know about plumbing technology.

  1. Indoor plumbing dates back to at least 2700 BC

A number of ancient civilisations developed plumbing technology to fill and drain public baths. The earliest examples of plumbing are clay pipes which which were sealed with asphalt to prevent leaking. The only exception to this is the ancient Egyptians, who began using copper piping more than 3,000 years ago.


  1. The word plumbing comes from the Latin term for lead (plumbum) which is a reference to the lead piping which was utilised by the Roman Civilisation


  1. The first flushing toilet was invented in 1596

An Englishman named Sir John Harington, invented the first flushing toilet which he named ‘Ajax’. It consisted of a pan with an opening that was sealed over with a leather valve. Handles, levers and weights were utilised to pour in the water from the cistern and open the valve. Harington was the nephew of Queen Elizabeth I, who was so impressed with the device that she ordered one for herself.


  1. In the 17th century, most castles had toilets known as ‘garderobes’

Unfortunately, these consisted of a small room built into one of the outer walls of the castle where there was a bench with a hole going straight down into the moat.


  1. Overflowing cesspits were the cause of London’s 1854 cholera outbreak

London experienced a huge population boom during the industrial revolution, and the city’s primitive sewer system was not equipped to handle the influx of people. As a result, cesspools began to overflow and the London government decided to manage this by dumping the excess sewerage into the River Thames, which was then used to supply the city with drinking water. The result was a major cholera outbreak where 500 people died in ten days.


JPG Plumbing is an established plumber in Melbourne offering a broad array of residential and commercial services. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0400 978 442.