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A Short History of Drainage

A Short History of Drainage

Whilst those in the plumbing industry appreciate the importance and intricacy of a drainage system, for the rest of us flushing a toilet, turning on a tap for clean water or having a shower are just parts of our day to day lives. As such, it’s easy to take this convenience for granted, when in actual fact we would not have any of these luxuries if it weren’t for the sophisticated drainage system we have today.

This article will delve deeper into the history of drainage, so you can see how systems  have developed throughout the ages.


First flushing toilet

Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Crapper did not invent the flushing toilet. It was, in fact, a man called Sir John Harrington who created the innovative flushing toilet design in the 16th century. Despite this, the patented bowl model we are familiar today actually took another 200 years to be developed.


Updates to the London Sewer System

During the Victorian Era, the River Thames was considered an open sewer which contributed to the spread of diseases such as cholera. Despite this, it was not until 1958 that action was taken to modernise the sewage system following rocketing summer temperatures which caused the city to become engulfed by strong, foul sewage smells.

This led to a huge development in the design of UK sewer and drains which, in turn, paved the way for the the sophisticated sewer network we have today. Indeed, some of the original system still remains intact to this present-day.



Whilst many of us are lucky enough to have access to fresh, clean running water in our homes, this would not be the case if it weren’t for ancient plumbing systems dating back as early as 7th century B.C. Typically associated with the Romans, aqueducts provided an efficient way of transporting drinking water and draining away wastewater via an intricate system.


Developments in drainage materials

Progression throughout the years brought with it changes in the types of materials used for drainage systems. Whilst drains and pipes were once made using materials available during the ancient eras such as clay, stone and wood, modern day supplies means they are now crafted with more durable materials such as copper, brass and plastic.

It was identified during the Victorian era that using smooth materials for the inner lining in pipes and sewers would help with the flow of wastewater. This was so significant that even today professional drainage companies will specialise in the maintenance of these linings to ensure they remain in fully functional condition.


Express Clear

For drain maintenance in Doncaster, look no further than Express Clear. We offer thorough drain cleaning, unblocking and repairs services to ensure your drains are restored back to full working order in next to no time. We quickly identify any problems with your drains and carry out the appropriate remedial action for an affordable price.

To learn more about how your property can benefit from our expert drainage services, or for professional advice on our drain repairs in Doncaster, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.


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