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Demoni u vašem WC -u? Čuvari kanalizacije i kako su štitili stare toalete

Demoni u vašem WC -u? Čuvari kanalizacije i kako su štitili stare toalete



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Kao ritualni simbol pročišćavanja, voda igra ključnu ulogu u javnom prostoru higijene i sanitarnih aktivnosti, kao i u gotovo svim religijama prošlosti i sadašnjosti. Sam čin pranja nije bio samo čišćenje od prljavštine - ono je također oslobodilo duhovne nečistoće.

Ljudi koji se kupaju i mole u svetoj rijeci Gangi. (Slike dobrodošlice/ CC BY 4.0 )

Dobri, Zli i Prljavi

Kupališta i zahodi nalaze se kroz povijest. Tijekom trećeg tisućljeća prije nove ere, kada su u cijelom svijetu izumljeni zahodi i kanalizacija, došli su i demoni za koje se pričalo da vrebaju u zahodima. Ali ti objekti su također čuvali božanstva.

WC demon Belphegor ( )

Iako su demoni dijelom užasni, a djelomično fascinantni, čuvari nužnika jednako su važni kao i oni koji su nas štitili od opasnosti koje su vrebale u tajnosti. Razumijevanje čuvara nužnika također nam pomaže razumjeti različite kulturne stavove koji se odnose na zdravlje i čistoću - od kojih su mnogi preživjeli od davnina i koji su dali posebnu važnost odgovarajućem održavanju toaleta u svakom kućanstvu. Za ilustraciju, Nepal Moja Republika objavili su ovogodišnji članak koji je otkrio da u Bahjangu zahodi nisu dostupni ženama tijekom menstruacije i nakon poroda jer vjeruju da božanstva "preziru menstrualnu krv". To se može činiti čudnim jer se WC -i općenito smatraju prljavima. Pa zašto bi ženama bilo zabranjeno toalet za to vrijeme? Odgovor bi mogao ležati u drevnim idejama pročišćenja.

Božanska čistoća: važnost pranja prije odavanja počasti božanstvima

Poslovica o čistoći "uz bogobojaznost" popularno se pripisuje propovijedi Johna Wesleya iz 1778. godine, kao i zapisima u Talmudu (rabinska učenja i knjiga židovskih zakona). Umivanje u čistoj vodi prije nego što su se poklonili bogovima i božanstvima postali su dio ceremonija u mnogim drevnim religijama. U starom Egiptu ljudi su prali lica i ruke prije nego što su se pomolili božici Izidi, a svećenici su kupali svoja tijela najmanje dva puta svake noći i dvaput danju. Prema kršćanskom autoru Tertulijanu (oko 155. - 240. n. E.) Voda je imala prirodna svojstva čišćenja i, kao bit svetosti, voda je mogla ukloniti sve mrlje i otvoriti put u novo stanje postojanja.

U Indiji je voda davala život, snagu i čistoću. Sljedbenici Brahme kupali su se jednom ili dva puta dnevno i ispirali lica i ruke nekoliko puta dnevno. Hinduizam je svojim sljedbenicima nametnuo dužnost ritualnog kupanja u vodama rijeka koje se i dalje smatraju svetim.

Večernje molitve u Har-Ki-Pairi Ghatu u Haridwaru. (Dirk Hartung/ CC BY-SA 2.0 )

U židovskoj religiji ritualno kupanje, mikvah, naredio je Mojsije - iako mikva tehnički nije kupka za čišćenje jer ju treba temeljito oprati prije uporabe. Muslimani peru ruke, lica i stopala prije svakog od pet obaveznih namaza u jednom danu. Abdeti na fontani se izvršavaju dok se usput mole, jer, kako kaže Sahih Muslim, "Čistoća je pola Emaana (vjere)."

Drevni izraelski uronjeni bazen, mikva (Rdusatko/ CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Bogovi kupanja i božanstvene tople kupke

Islamska kultura dovela je do razvoja antičke ideje o javnim kupatilima. Međutim hamam (od arapske riječi "hamma" što znači "zagrijati"), danas nam poznate kao "tursko kupatilo", nosi sa sobom više od kupke. Praksa hamama sastavni je dio turskog i arapskog načina života. U hamamu se smatra mogućim za čišćenje tijela, kao i za opuštanje i zabavu.


Za koncept higijenskih navika tijekom srednjeg vijeka moglo bi se reći da se prilično razlikuje od onog koji danas razumijemo. To se odražava na higijenske prakse koje su ljudi ove dobi provodili u svom svakodnevnom životu. Za početak, unutarnji vodovod još nije bio izmišljen, a ljudi bi obično koristili privatnu kuću (poznatu i kao pomoćni prostor ili garderoba) kada bi priroda pozvala. Ovaj sirovi zahod često je bio samo koliba s drvenom pločom preko rupe u zemlji. U dvorcima, samostanima i samostanima to su bile uske prostorije u kojima su se ljudi mogli rasteretiti. Iskreno rečeno, ti su zatvoreni prostori bili zatvoreni što je moguće dalje od unutarnjih komora i obično su imali dvostruka vrata za zadržavanje neugodnih mirisa.

Osim toga, postojali su i komorni lonci, koje smo držali ispod kreveta, kako bi ih ljudi mogli koristiti noću. Jedno od bizarnih zanimanja proizašlih iz ove higijenske navike bilo je ono 'Mladoženja kraljeve bliske stolice'. Ovaj posao, koji su obično obavljali sinovi plemstva, uključivao je pomaganje kralju kad je morao obavljati svoj posao, te čišćenje nakon toga.

Podrazumijeva se da su otpadni proizvodi morali nekamo otići. U doba kada kanalizacije nije bilo, ljudi su jednostavno pravili septičke jame, koje su u biti bile ogromne, duboke rupe iskopane u zemlji, u koje se odlagao ljudski otpad. Ironično, možda ova praksa nije bila higijenska, jer su otpadni proizvodi izloženi zraku stvorili prikladno okruženje za širenje bakterija koje bi mogle širiti bolesti. Što se tiče tajni u dvorcima, izmet bi ili pao u opkop, ili bi se ispustio sa strane zidina dvorca. Zanimljiva priča o ovom srednjovjekovnom ‘kanalizacijskom’ sustavu potječe iz opsade Château Gaillarda 1203-1204 u Normandiji u Francuskoj. Tijekom opsade, francuske su snage uspjele zauzeti drugi zid prodirući u njega kroz nečuvan WC -kanal koji je vodio do kapelice.

Želite znati više o higijeni u srednjem vijeku. Zabavnije činjenice i uvide potražite u ovom prethodnom postu o srednjovjekovnom ponedjeljku. Kliknite ovdje.

Upotrijebite Indeks srednjovjekovnog ponedjeljka da biste otkrili druge teme vezane za svakodnevni život u srednjem vijeku.


Drevno podrijetlo vodovoda

Vodovod kakvog danas poznajemo (međusobno povezani sustavi unutarnjih cijevi i odvoda pričvršćeni na ispiranje WC -a i sudopera) nije osobito star u velikoj shemi ljudske povijesti. Ali vodovod, općenito, datira više od pet tisućljeća. Sustavi vodovodnih cijevi, kanalizacije i zahoda počeli su se pojavljivati ​​u drevnom Sumeru, kao i u Egiptu, na Kreti i u neolitskom naselju Skara Brae (u blizini današnjeg Stromnessa u Orkneyu, Škotska), između 3200. i 1500. godine prije Krista. Samo su dvije od njih uključivale "unutarnje vodovodne instalacije" u bilo kojem smislu: kuće opremljene odvodnim kanalima ugrađene u zidove Skara Brae i unutarnje toalete na Kritu za vrijeme vladavine kralja Minosa. Stari Rim je poznat po svom zamršenom sustavu vodovoda s brončanim i olovnim cijevima, koji je spriječio nakupljanje otpada iz javnih zahoda i kupatila.

Tijekom većeg dijela sljedećih 2.000 godina, dok su nesumnjivo postojali sustavi za odlaganje otpada i plovidbu prljavom vodom izvan javnih mjesta, velika većina zahoda, poput Rima, bila je na otvorenom. Za većinu svijeta jedini način korištenja kupaonice u zatvorenom prostoru bio je upotrijebiti lončić s komorom i ručno odbaciti nakupljeni otpad, često bacanjem kroz prozor na ulicu! (Nedostatak odgovarajućih sanitarnih uvjeta gotovo se sigurno može povezati s velikim epidemijama bolesti koje su se dogodile u to vrijeme, poput vladavine terora bubonske kuge u srednjem vijeku.)


Sadržaj

Tijekom neolitika ljudi su kopali prve stalne bunare za vodu, odakle su se posude mogle puniti i nositi ručno. Bunari iskopani oko 6500 godina prije Krista pronađeni su u dolini Jezreel. [2] Veličina ljudskih naselja uvelike je ovisila o obližnjoj dostupnoj vodi.

Čini se da je primitivni zatvoreni dvokanalni sustav s kamenom, svježom i otpadnom vodom obložen korom drveća bio prisutan u kućama Skara Brae i naselju Barnhouse, od oko 3000. godine prije Krista, zajedno s enklavom u obliku ćelija kuće Skara Brae, za koje se pretpostavlja da su funkcionirale kao rani zatvoreni toalet. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Aktivnosti ponovne uporabe otpadnih voda Uredi

Ponovna uporaba otpadnih voda drevna je praksa koja se primjenjuje od početka ljudske povijesti, a povezana je s razvojem sanitarnih uvjeta. [8] Ponovna uporaba neočišćenih komunalnih otpadnih voda prakticirala se već stoljećima s ciljem preusmjeravanja ljudskog otpada izvan gradskih naselja. Slično, primjena otpadnih voda iz zemlje stara je i uobičajena praksa koja je prošla kroz različite faze razvoja.

Kućanske otpadne vode iskorištavale su prapovijesne civilizacije za navodnjavanje (npr. Mezopotamija, dolina Inda i Minoja) od brončanog doba (oko 3200.-1100. Pr. Kr.). [9] Nakon toga, helenske su civilizacije, a kasnije i Rimljani, koristile otpadne vode za odlaganje, navodnjavanje i gnojidbu u područjima koja okružuju gradove (npr. Atenu i Rim). [10] [11] [12]

Antička Amerika Edit

U starom Peruu, ljudi Nazca koristili su sustav međusobno povezanih bunara i podzemni vodotok poznat kao puquios.

Drevni Bliski istok Edit

Mezopotamija Uredi

Mezopotamci su upoznali svijet s glinenim kanalizacijskim cijevima oko 4000. godine prije Krista, a najraniji primjeri pronađeni su u Hramu Bel u Nippuru i u Eshnunni [13], korišteni za uklanjanje otpadnih voda s mjesta i hvatanje kišnice u bunarima. Grad Uruk također prikazuje prve primjere zidanih latrina iz 3200. godine prije Krista. [14] [15] Glinene cijevi kasnije su korištene u hetitskom gradu Hattusa. [16] Imali su lako odvojive i zamjenjive segmente te dopuštali čišćenje.

Drevna Perzija Edit

Prvi kanalizacijski sustavi u prapovijesnom Iranu izgrađeni su u blizini grada Zabola. [13] Perzijski kanati i abbari korišteni su za opskrbu vodom i hlađenje.

Stari Egipat Edit

C. 2400. godine prije Krista, piramida Sahure i susjedni kompleks hramova u Abusiru otkriveno je da ima mrežu bakrenih odvodnih cijevi. [17]

Drevna istočna Azija Edit

Drevna Kina Edit

Neki od najranijih dokaza o izvorima vode nalaze se u Kini. Neolitski Kinezi otkrili su i naširoko koristili duboku bušenu podzemnu vodu za piće. [ potreban je citat ] Kineski tekst Knjiga promjena, izvorno tekst za proricanje iz dinastije Western Zhou (1046 -771. pr. Kr.), sadrži zapis koji opisuje kako su stari Kinezi održavali svoje bunare i štitili izvore vode. [18] Arheološki dokazi i stari kineski dokumenti otkrivaju da su pretpovijesni i stari Kinezi imali sposobnost i vještinu za kopanje dubokih bunara za pitku vodu već prije 6000 do 7000 godina. [ potreban je citat ] Vjerovalo se da je bunar iskopan na mjestu iskopavanja Hemedu izgrađen tijekom neolitika. [19] Bunar su uzrokovali četiri reda trupaca s četvrtastim okvirom pričvršćenim na njih na vrhu bunara. Vjeruje se da je šezdeset dodatnih bunara za pločice jugozapadno od Pekinga izgrađeno oko 600. godine prije Krista za piće i navodnjavanje. [19] [20] Također je poznato da se vodovod koristi u istočnoj Aziji još od kineskih dinastija Qin i Han. [21]

Civilizacija doline Inda Uredi

Civilizacija doline Inda u Aziji pokazuje prve dokaze o javnoj vodoopskrbi i kanalizaciji. Sustav koji je Indus razvio i kojim je upravljao uključivao je brojne napredne značajke. Tipičan primjer je indijski grad Lothal (oko 2350. pr. Kr.). U Lothalu sve [ potreban je citat ] kuće su imale vlastiti privatni toalet koji je bio povezan s natkrivenim [ potreban je citat ] kanalizacijska mreža izgrađena od opeke koja se drži zajedno s malterom na bazi gipsa koji se ispraznio ili u okolna vodna tijela ili alternativno u septičke jame, od kojih su se potonje redovito praznile i čistile. [22]

Urbana područja civilizacije doline Inda uključivala su javna i privatna kupališta. [ potreban je citat ] Kanalizacija je odvedena kroz podzemne odvode izgrađene precizno postavljenom opekom, a uspostavljen je i sofisticirani sustav upravljanja vodama s brojnim rezervoarima. U sustavima odvodnje odvodi iz kuća bili su spojeni na šire javne odvode. Mnoge zgrade u Mohenjo-daru imale su dvije ili više priča. Voda s krova i kupaonica na katu je provedena kroz zatvorene cijevi od terakote ili otvorene žlijebove koji su se praznili na ulične odvode. [23]

Najraniji dokazi o gradskoj higijeni viđeni su u Harappi, Mohenjo-daro i nedavno otkrivenom Rakhigarhiju iz civilizacije doline Inda. Ovaj urbanistički plan uključivao je prve svjetske urbane sanitarne sustave. Unutar grada pojedini domovi ili grupe domova dobivali su vodu iz bunara. Iz prostorije za koju se čini da je bila izdvojena za kupanje, otpadna voda usmjeravana je u pokrivene odvode, koji su se nizali uz glavne ulice.

Uređaji poput sjenila korišteni su za podizanje vode do razine tla. Ruševine civilizacije doline Inda, poput Mohenjo-dara u Pakistanu i Dholavira u Gujaratu u Indiji, imale su naselja s nekim od najsofisticiranijih kanalizacijskih sustava drevnog svijeta. [ potreban je citat ] Uključivali su odvodne kanale, skupljanje kišnice i ulične kanale.

Stepwells su se uglavnom koristili na indijskom potkontinentu.

Antički Mediteran Edit

Stara Grčka Edit

Starogrčka civilizacija Kreta, poznata kao minojska civilizacija, bila je prva civilizacija koja je koristila podzemne glinene cijevi za sanitaciju i opskrbu vodom. [24] Njihov glavni grad, Knossos, imao je dobro organiziran vodovodni sustav za dovod čiste vode, odvođenje otpadnih voda i olujne kanalizacijske kanale radi prelijevanja tijekom velike kiše. To je također bila jedna od prvih upotreba toaleta s ispiranjem, koja datira iz 18. stoljeća prije Krista. [25] Minojska civilizacija imala je kamene kanalizacije koje su se povremeno ispirale čistom vodom. [ potreban je citat ] Osim sofisticiranih vodovodnih i kanalizacijskih sustava, osmislili su i složene sustave grijanja. Stari Grci iz Atene i Male Azije također su koristili unutarnji vodovodni sustav koji se koristio za tuševe pod tlakom. [26] Grčki izumitelj Heron koristio je cjevovode pod tlakom u svrhu gašenja požara u gradu Aleksandriji. [27] Maje su bile treća najranija civilizacija koja je upotrijebila sustav unutarnjih vodovodnih instalacija koristeći vodu pod tlakom. [28]

Obrnuti sustav sifona, zajedno sa staklenim glinenim cijevima, prvi je put korišten u palačama na Kreti u Grčkoj. Još je u radnom stanju, nakon otprilike 3000 godina. [ potreban je citat ]

Rimsko Carstvo Edit

U starom Rimu, Cloaca Maxima, koja se smatra čudom inženjeringa, ispuštena je u Tiber. Javni zahodi izgrađeni su iznad Cloaca Maxima. [29]

Počevši od rimskog doba, uređaj s vodenim kotačima, poznat kao noria, opskrbljivao je vodu akvaduktima i drugim distribucijskim sustavima vode u većim gradovima Europe i Bliskog istoka.

Rimsko je carstvo imalo unutarnje vodovodne instalacije, što znači sustav vodovoda i cijevi koji su završavali u kućama i na javnim bunarima i fontanama za ljude. Rim i drugi narodi koristili su olovne cijevi za koje se u Rimskom Carstvu obično smatralo da su uzrok trovanja olovom, a kombinacija tekuće vode koja nije dugo ostala u dodiru s cijevi i taloženja kamenca zapravo su umanjili rizik od olova cijevi. [30] [31]

Rimski gradovi i garnizoni u Ujedinjenom Kraljevstvu između 46. godine prije Krista i 400. godine poslije Krista imali su složene kanalizacijske mreže ponekad izgrađene od izdubljenih brijestovih trupaca, koji su bili oblikovani tako da su se spojili zajedno s nizvodnom cijevi pružajući utičnicu za uzvodnu cijev. [ potreban je citat ]

Nepal Edit

U Nepalu se izgradnja vodovoda poput fontana i bunara smatra pobožnim činom. [32]

Sustav opskrbe pitkom vodom razvijen je barem 550. godine. [33] Ovo dhunge dhara ili hiti sustav se sastoji od isklesanih kamenih fontana kroz koje voda neprekidno teče iz podzemnih izvora. Oni su podržani brojnim jezerima i kanalima koji tvore razrađenu mrežu vodnih tijela, stvorenih kao vodni resurs tijekom sušne sezone i pomažu u ublažavanju pritiska vode uzrokovanog monsunskim kišama. Nakon uvođenja modernih vodovoda s cjevovodima, počevši od kasnog 19. stoljeća, ovaj stari sustav je propao i neki su njegovi dijelovi zauvijek izgubljeni. [ potreban je citat ] Ipak, mnogi ljudi u Nepalu se i dalje svakodnevno oslanjaju na stare hite. [ potreban je citat ]

U 2008. dhunge dhare u dolini Katmandu proizvodile su 2,95 milijuna litara vode dnevno. [34]

Od 389 kamenih izljeva pronađenih u dolini Katmandu 2010., 233 su još uvijek bila u upotrebi, opslužujući oko 10% stanovništva Katmandua. 68 se osušilo, 45 je potpuno izgubljeno, a 43 su spojena na općinski vodovod umjesto izvornog izvora. [35]

Islamski svijet Edit

Islam naglašava važnost čistoće i osobne higijene. [36] Islamska higijenska sudska praksa, koja datira iz 7. stoljeća, ima niz razrađenih pravila. Taharah (ritualna čistoća) uključuje obavljanje wudua (abdesta) za pet dnevnih salaha (namaza), kao i redovno izvođenje ghusla (kupanje), što je dovelo do izgradnje kupatila širom islamskog svijeta. [37] [38] Islamska zahodska higijena također zahtijeva pranje vodom nakon korištenja toaleta, radi čistoće i minimiziranja klica. [39]

U Abasidskom kalifatu (8.-13. Stoljeće), njegov glavni grad Bagdad (Irak) imao je 65.000 kupališta, zajedno s kanalizacijskim sustavom. [40] Gradovi srednjovjekovnog islamskog svijeta imali su vodoopskrbne sustave pogonjene hidrauličkom tehnologijom koja je isporučivala pitku vodu zajedno sa mnogo većim količinama vode za ritualno pranje, uglavnom u džamijama i hamamima (kupkama). Kupališne objekte u raznim gradovima ocijenili su arapski književnici u turističkim vodičima. Srednjovjekovni islamski gradovi poput Bagdada, Córdobe (islamska Španjolska), Feza (Maroko) i Fustata (Egipat) također su imali sofisticirano odlaganje otpada i kanalizacijske sustave s međusobno povezanim kanalizacijskim mrežama. [ potreban je citat ] Grad Fustat također je imao višespratne stambene zgrade (sa do šest katova) sa WC-om na ispiranje, koji su bili spojeni na vodoopskrbni sustav, i dimnjacima na svakom katu koji su prevozili otpad u podzemne kanale. [41]

Al-Karaji (oko 953–1029) napisao je knjigu, Vađenje skrivenih voda, koji je predstavio revolucionarne ideje i opise hidroloških i hidrogeoloških percepcija, kao što su komponente hidrološkog ciklusa, kvaliteta podzemnih voda i pokretački čimbenici protoka podzemnih voda. Također je dao rani opis procesa filtriranja vode. [42]

Postklasična istočna Afrika Edit

U postklasičnoj Kilwi vodovod je bio rasprostranjen u kamenim domovima domorodaca. [43] [44] Palača Husani Kubwa, kao i druge zgrade za vladajuću elitu i bogate, uključivale su luksuz unutarnjih vodovodnih instalacija. [44]

Srednjovjekovna Europa Edit

Malo je podataka o drugim sanitarnim sustavima (osim sanitarnih u starom Rimu) u većem dijelu Europe do visokog srednjeg vijeka. Nehigijenski uvjeti i pretrpanost bili su rašireni u Europi i Aziji tijekom srednjeg vijeka. To je rezultiralo pandemijama poput Justinijanove kuge (541-542) i Crne smrti (1347-1351), koje su ubile desetke milijuna ljudi. [45] Vrlo visoka smrtnost dojenčadi i djece prevladavala je u Europi tijekom srednjeg vijeka, djelomično zbog nedostataka u sanitarnim uvjetima. [46]

U srednjovjekovnim europskim gradovima mali prirodni plovni putovi koji su se koristili za odvođenje otpadnih voda na kraju su prekriveni i funkcionirali su kao kanalizacija. Londonska riječna flota takav je sustav. Otvoreni odvodi ili oluci za otjecanje otpadnih voda prolazili su središtem nekih ulica. One su bile poznate kao "uzgajivačnice" (tj. Kanali, kanali), a u Parizu su ponekad bile poznate i kao "podijeljene ulice", jer je otpadna voda koja je tekla po sredini fizički podijelila ulice na dvije polovice. Prvu zatvorenu kanalizaciju izgrađenu u Parizu projektirao je Hugues Aubird 1370. godine na Rue Montmartre (Montmartre Street), a bila je duga 300 metara. Prvotna svrha projektiranja i izgradnje zatvorene kanalizacije u Parizu bila je manje za gospodarenje otpadom, koliko i za suzbijanje smrada iz mirisne otpadne vode. [47] U Dubrovniku, tada poznatom kao Ragusa (latinski naziv), Statut iz 1272. postavio je parametre za izgradnju septičkih jama i kanala za uklanjanje prljave vode. Kroz 14. i 15. stoljeće izgrađen je kanalizacijski sustav, koji je i danas u funkciji, uz manje izmjene i popravke u posljednjim stoljećima. [48] ​​Ormari za kante, toaleti i septičke jame korišteni su za prikupljanje ljudskog otpada. Korištenje ljudskog otpada kao gnojiva bilo je posebno važno u Kini i Japanu, gdje je stočni gnoj bio manje dostupan. Međutim, većina gradova prije industrijske ere nije imala funkcionirajući kanalizacijski sustav [ potreban je citat ], oslanjajući se umjesto na obližnje rijeke ili povremene kiše kako bi isprali kanalizaciju s ulica [ potreban je citat ]. Ponegdje je otpadna voda jednostavno tekla ulicama, koje su imale stepenice kako bi spriječile pješake, a na kraju su se slivale kao otjecanje u lokalnu slivnicu. [ potreban je citat ]

U 16. stoljeću Sir John Harington izumio je toalet za ispiranje kao uređaj za kraljicu Elizabetu I. (njegovu kumu) koja je ispuštala otpad u septičke jame. [49]

Nakon usvajanja baruta, općinske su toalete postale važan izvor sirovine za proizvodnju šalitre u europskim zemljama. [50]

U Londonu su sadržaji gradskih toaleta svake večeri prikupljani naručenim vagonima i dostavljani u nitritne korite gdje su položeni u posebno dizajnirana ležišta tla za proizvodnju zemlje bogate mineralnim nitratima. Zemlja bogata nitratima potom bi se dalje obrađivala za proizvodnju šalitre ili kalijevog nitrata, važnog sastojka crnog praha koji je imao ulogu u proizvodnji baruta. [51]

Klasična i rana moderna Mesoamerica Edit

Classic Maya u Palenqueu imao je podzemne vodovode i zahode za ispiranje. Classic Maya je čak koristio i filtere za vodu za domaćinstvo koristeći lokalno obilno vapnenac izrezan u porozni cilindar, napravljen tako da radi na izrazito sličan način kao moderni keramički filtri za vodu. [52] [53]

U Španjolskoj i Španjolskoj Americi, zajednica je upravljala vodotokom poznatim kao acequia, u kombinaciji s jednostavnim sustavom za filtriranje pijeska, osiguravala je pitku vodu.

Kanalizacijske farme za odlaganje i navodnjavanje Edit

“Kanalizacijske farme” (tj. Aplikacija otpadnih voda na zemljište za odlaganje i poljoprivrednu uporabu) radile su u Bunzlauu (Šlezija) 1531. godine, u Edinburghu (Škotska) 1650., u Parizu (Francuska) 1868., u Berlinu (Njemačka) 1876. godine i u različitim dijelovima SAD -a od 1871., gdje su se otpadne vode koristile za korisnu proizvodnju usjeva. [54] [55] U sljedećim stoljećima (16. i 18. stoljeće) u mnogim brzorastućim zemljama/gradovima Europe (npr. Njemačkoj, Francuskoj) i Sjedinjenim Državama, „kanalizacijske farme“ sve su se više doživljavale kao rješenje za zbrinjavanje velike količine otpadnih voda, od kojih neke rade i danas. [56] Navodnjavanje otpadnim vodama i drugim otpadnim vodama ima dugu povijest također u Kini i Indiji [57], dok je velika "kanalizacijska farma" osnovana u Melbourneu, Australija, 1897. [58]

Kanalizacijski sustavi Edit

Značajan razvoj bila je izgradnja kanalizacijske mreže za prikupljanje otpadnih voda. U nekim gradovima, uključujući Rim, Istanbul (Carigrad) i Fustat, umreženi drevni kanalizacijski sustavi i danas funkcioniraju kao sustavi prikupljanja za modernizirane kanalizacijske sustave tih gradova. Umjesto da teku do rijeke ili mora, cijevi su preusmjerene u moderne kanalizacijske postrojenja.

Međutim, sve do doba prosvjetiteljstva nije postignut mali napredak u vodoopskrbi i kanalizaciji, a inženjerske vještine Rimljana bile su uvelike zanemarene u cijeloj Europi. To se počelo mijenjati u 17. i 18. stoljeću naglim širenjem vodovoda i crpnih sustava.

Ogroman rast gradova tijekom industrijske revolucije brzo je doveo do užasno prezagađenih ulica, koje su djelovale kao stalni izvor izbijanja bolesti. [59]

Ljudi dovoljno bogati da uživaju u toaletima s ispiranjem iz 19. stoljeća često su imali političku moć dopustiti im odvod u javnu kanalizaciju, a praksa je postala norma jer su vodovodne instalacije u zatvorenim prostorima postale sve češće, temeljene na velikim opskrbnim mrežama poput Crotonovog vodovoda u New Yorku .

Kako su gradovi rasli u 19. stoljeću, pojavila se zabrinutost za javno zdravlje. [60]: 33–62 Kao dio trenda općinskih sanitarnih programa krajem 19. i 20. stoljeća, mnogi su gradovi izgradili opsežne kanalizacijske sustave za pomoć u kontroli izbijanja bolesti poput tifusa i kolere. [61]: 29–34

U početku su ti sustavi ispuštali kanalizaciju izravno u površinske vode bez pročišćavanja. [62] Kasnije su gradovi pokušali očistiti kanalizaciju prije ispuštanja kako bi spriječili zagađenje vode i bolesti koje se prenose vodom. Tijekom pola stoljeća oko 1900. godine, ove javnozdravstvene intervencije uspjele su drastično smanjiti učestalost bolesti koje se prenose vodom među gradskim stanovništvom, te su bile važan uzrok povećanja očekivanog trajanja života u to vrijeme. [63]

Rane tehnike uključivale su primjenu kanalizacije na poljoprivrednom zemljištu. [62] Upotreba sustava obrade zemljišta nastavila se i u devetnaestom/dvadesetom stoljeću u srednjoj Europi, SAD -u i na drugim mjestima diljem svijeta, ali ne bez izazivanja ozbiljnih zabrinutosti za javno zdravlje i negativnih utjecaja na okoliš. Tijekom 1840 -ih i 1850 -ih godina ova je praksa rezultirala katastrofalnim širenjem vodenih bolesti poput kolere i tifusa. [64] Međutim, kada su vodoopskrbne veze s ovim bolestima postale jasne, implementirana su inženjerska rješenja koja uključuju razvoj alternativnih izvora vode pomoću sustava rezervoara i akvadukta, premještanje vodozahvata i sustava za pročišćavanje vode i otpadnih voda. [65]

Krajem 19. stoljeća neki su gradovi počeli dodavati sustave kemijske obrade i taloženja u svoju kanalizaciju. [66]: 28 Većina gradova u zapadnom svijetu dodalo je skuplje sustave za pročišćavanje otpadnih voda u 20. stoljeću, nakon što su znanstvenici sa Sveučilišta u Manchesteru 1912. otkrili proces pročišćavanja otpadnih voda aktivnim muljem. [67]

Olujna i sanitarna kanalizacija nužno su se razvijale zajedno s rastom gradova. Do 1840 -ih godina luksuz unutarnjih vodovodnih instalacija, koji miješa ljudski otpad s vodom i ispire ga, eliminirao je potrebu za septičkim jamama. Miris se smatrao velikim problemom u zbrinjavanju otpada i kako bi se to riješilo, kanalizacija bi se mogla odvoditi u lagunu ili "taložiti", a krute tvari ukloniti, kako bi se zbrinule odvojeno. Taj se proces sada naziva "primarna obrada", a taložene krutine nazivaju se "mulj".

Liverpool, London i drugi gradovi, UK Edit

Nedavno su kanalizacijski sustavi u kasnom 19. stoljeću u nekim dijelovima brzo industrijalizirane Ujedinjene Kraljevine bili toliko neadekvatni da su bolesti koje se prenose vodom, poput kolere i tifusa, ostale rizik.

Već od 1535. u Londonu su se nastojali zaustaviti zagađivanje rijeke Temze. Počevši od zakona donesenog te godine koji je trebao zabraniti ispuštanje izmeta u rijeku. Do industrijske revolucije rijeka Temza je identificirana kao gusta i crna zbog kanalizacije, pa je čak rečeno da rijeka "miriše na smrt". [68] Kako je Britanija bila prva zemlja koja se industrijalizirala, bila je i prva koja je doživjela katastrofalne posljedice velike urbanizacije, a prva je izgradila moderni kanalizacijski sustav za ublažavanje nastalih sanitarnih uvjeta. [ potreban je citat ] Tijekom ranog 19. stoljeća rijeka Temza bila je učinkovito otvorena kanalizacija, što je dovelo do čestih izbijanja epidemija kolere. Prijedlozi za modernizaciju kanalizacijskog sustava dati su tijekom 1856. godine, ali su zanemareni zbog nedostatka sredstava. Međutim, nakon Veliki Smrad 1858. Sabor je shvatio hitnost problema i odlučio stvoriti moderan kanalizacijski sustav. [69]

Međutim, deset godina ranije i 200 milja sjeverno, James Newlands, škotski inženjer, bio je jedan od slavnih trojica pionirskih časnika imenovanih prema privatnom zakonu, Liverpoolovom sanitarnom zakonu od strane Odbora za zdravstvo grada Liverpoola. Drugi službenici imenovani prema Zakonu bili su William Henry Duncan, medicinski službenik za zdravstvo i Thomas Fresh, inspektor za smetnje (rani prethodnik službenika za zaštitu okoliša). Jedan od pet kandidata za tu poziciju, Newlands je imenovan županijskim inženjerom u Liverpoolu 26. siječnja 1847.

Napravio je pažljiv i točan pregled Liverpoola i njegove okolice, uključivši približno 3000 geodetskih promatranja, što je rezultiralo izgradnjom konturne karte grada i njegove okolice, u mjerilu od 1 inča do 20 stopa (6,1 m). Iz ovog detaljnog istraživanja Newlands je nastavio postavljati sveobuhvatni sustav odvodne i priključne kanalizacije, glavnih i pomoćnih odvoda, u ukupnom iznosu od gotovo 300 milja (480 km). Pojedinosti o ovom projektiranom sustavu predstavio je Korporaciji u travnju 1848.

U srpnju 1848. započeo je program izgradnje kanalizacije Jamesa Newlanda, a tijekom sljedećih 11 godina izgrađeno je 86 milja (138 km) nove kanalizacije. Između 1856. i 1862. dodano je još 93 km. Ovaj je program dovršen 1869. Prije izgradnje kanalizacije, očekivani životni vijek u Liverpoolu bio je 19 godina, a do umirovljenja Newlands se više nego udvostručio.

Joseph Bazalgette, građevinski inženjer i glavni inženjer Metropolitan Board of Works, dobio je odgovornost za rad. Dizajnirao je opsežni podzemni kanalizacijski sustav koji je preusmjeravao otpad u ušće Temze, nizvodno od glavnog središta stanovništva. Izgrađeno je šest glavnih kanalizacijskih kanala, ukupne duljine gotovo 160 milja, od kojih su neki uključivali dijelove londonskih 'izgubljenih' rijeka. Tri od ovih kanalizacija bile su sjeverno od rijeke, najjužnija, niska razina ugrađena je u Temzanski nasip. Nasip je dopustio i nove ceste, nove javne vrtove i kružnu liniju londonskog podzemlja.

Presretačka kanalizacija, izgrađena između 1859. i 1865., napajana je glavnim kanalizacijskim otvorom od 450 kilometara (720 km) koji je, zauzvrat, prenosio sadržaj nekih 21.000 km manje lokalne kanalizacije. Za izgradnju sustava za presretanje potrebno je 318 milijuna opeka, 2,7 milijuna kubičnih metara iskopane zemlje i 670.000 kubičnih metara betona. [70] Gravitacija je kanalizaciji omogućila protok prema istoku, ali na mjestima kao što su Chelsea, Deptford i Abbey Mills izgrađene su crpne stanice za podizanje vode i osiguravanje dovoljnog protoka. Kanalizacija sjeverno od Temze ulijeva se u kanalizaciju sjevernog ispusta, koja se napajala u velike radove na prečišćavanju u Becktonu. Južno od rijeke, kanalizacija južnog ispusta proširila se do sličnog objekta na Crossnessu. Uz samo male izmjene, Bazalgetteova inženjerska dostignuća ostaju osnova za projektiranje kanalizacije do danas. [71]

In Merthyr Tydfil, a large town in South Wales, most houses discharged their sewage to individual cess-pits which persistently overflowed causing the pavements to be awash with foul sewage. [72]

Paris, France Edit

In 1802, Napoleon built the Ourcq canal which brought 70,000 cubic meters of water a day to Paris, while the Seine river received up to 100,000 cubic meters of wastewater per day. The Paris cholera epidemic of 1832 sharpened the public awareness of the necessity for some sort of drainage system to deal with sewage and wastewater in a better and healthier way. Between 1865 and 1920 Eugene Belgrand lead the development of a large scale system for water supply and wastewater management. Between these years approximately 600 kilometers of aqueducts were built to bring in potable spring water, which freed the poor quality water to be used for flushing streets and sewers. By 1894 laws were passed which made drainage mandatory. The treatment of Paris sewage, though, was left to natural devices as 5,000 hectares of land were used to spread the waste out to be naturally purified. Further, the lack of sewage treatment left Parisian sewage pollution to become concentrated downstream in the town of Clichy, effectively forcing residents to pack up and move elsewhere. [47]

The 19th century brick-vaulted Paris sewers serve as a tourist attraction nowadays.

Hamburg and Frankfurt, Germany Edit

The first comprehensive sewer system in a German city was built in Hamburg, Germany, in the mid-19th century. [66] : 2 [73] : 43 [74]

In 1863, work began on the construction of a modern sewerage system for the rapidly growing city of Frankfurt am Main, based on design work by William Lindley. 20 years after the system's completion, the death rate from typhoid had fallen from 80 to 10 per 100,000 inhabitants. [66] [73] : 43 [75]

Sjedinjene Američke Države Edit

The first sewer systems in the United States were built in the late 1850s in Chicago and Brooklyn. [73] : 43

In the United States, the first sewage treatment plant using chemical precipitation was built in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1890. [66] : 29

Sewage treatment plants Edit

At the end of the 19th century, since primary treatment still left odor problems, it was discovered that bad odors could be prevented by introducing oxygen into the decomposing sewage. This was the beginning of the biological aerobic and anaerobic treatments which are fundamental to wastewater processes.

As pollution of water bodies became a concern, cities attempted to treat the sewage before discharge. [76] In the late 19th century some cities began to add chemical treatment and sedimentation systems to their sewers. [66] : 28 In the United States, the first sewage treatment plant using chemical precipitation was built in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1890. [66] : 29 Most cities in the Western world added more expensive systems for sewage treatment in the early 20th century, after scientists at the University of Manchester discovered the sewage treatment process of activated sludge in 1912. [67] During the half-century around 1900, these public health interventions succeeded in drastically reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases among the urban population, and were an important cause in the increases of life expectancy experienced at the time. [63]

Toilets Edit

With the onset of the industrial revolution and related advances in technology, the flush toilet began to emerge into its modern form. It needs to be connected to a sewer system though. Where this is not feasible or desired, dry toilets are an alternative option.

Water supply Edit

An ambitious engineering project to bring fresh water from Hertfordshire to London was undertaken by Hugh Myddleton, who oversaw the construction of the New River between 1609 and 1613. The New River Company became one of the largest private water companies of the time, supplying the City of London and other central areas. [77] The first civic system of piped water in England was established in Derby in 1692, using wooden pipes, [78] which was common for several centuries. [79] The Derby Waterworks included waterwheel-powered pumps for raising water out of the River Derwent and storage tanks for distribution. [80]

It was in the 18th century that a rapidly growing population fueled a boom in the establishment of private water supply networks in London. The Chelsea Waterworks Company was established in 1723 "for the better supplying the City and Liberties of Westminster and parts adjacent with water". [81] [82] The company created extensive ponds in the area bordering Chelsea and Pimlico using water from the tidal Thames. Other waterworks were established in London, including at West Ham in 1743, at Lea Bridge before 1767, Lambeth Waterworks Company in 1785, West Middlesex Waterworks Company in 1806 [83] and Grand Junction Waterworks Company in 1811. [84]

The S-bend pipe was invented by Alexander Cummings in 1775 but became known as the U-bend following the introduction of the U-shaped trap by Thomas Crapper in 1880. The first screw-down water tap was patented in 1845 by Guest and Chrimes, a brass foundry in Rotherham. [85]

Water treatment Edit

Sand filter Edit

Sir Francis Bacon attempted to desalinate sea water by passing the flow through a sand filter. Although his experiment did not succeed, it marked the beginning of a new interest in the field.

The first documented use of sand filters to purify the water supply dates to 1804, when the owner of a bleachery in Paisley, Scotland, John Gibb, installed an experimental filter, selling his unwanted surplus to the public. [86] [87] This method was refined in the following two decades by engineers working for private water companies, and it culminated in the first treated public water supply in the world, installed by engineer James Simpson for the Chelsea Waterworks Company in London in 1829. [88] [89] This installation provided filtered water for every resident of the area, and the network design was widely copied throughout the United Kingdom in the ensuing decades.

The Metropolis Water Act introduced the regulation of the water supply companies in London, including minimum standards of water quality for the first time. The Act "made provision for securing the supply to the Metropolis of pure and wholesome water", and required that all water be "effectually filtered" from 31 December 1855. [90] This was followed up with legislation for the mandatory inspection of water quality, including comprehensive chemical analyses, in 1858. This legislation set a worldwide precedent for similar state public health interventions across Europe. [91] The Metropolitan Commission of Sewers was formed at the same time, water filtration was adopted throughout the country, and new water intakes on the Thames were established above Teddington Lock. Automatic pressure filters, where the water is forced under pressure through the filtration system, were innovated in 1899 in England. [86]

Water chlorination Edit

In what may have been one of the first attempts to use chlorine, William Soper used chlorinated lime to treat the sewage produced by typhoid patients in 1879.

In a paper published in 1894, Moritz Traube formally proposed the addition of chloride of lime (calcium hypochlorite) to water to render it "germ-free." Two other investigators confirmed Traube's findings and published their papers in 1895. [92] Early attempts at implementing water chlorination at a water treatment plant were made in 1893 in Hamburg, Germany, and in 1897 the city of Maidstone, England, was the first to have its entire water supply treated with chlorine. [93]

Permanent water chlorination began in 1905, when a faulty slow sand filter and a contaminated water supply led to a serious typhoid fever epidemic in Lincoln, England. [94] Dr. Alexander Cruickshank Houston used chlorination of the water to stem the epidemic. His installation fed a concentrated solution of chloride of lime to the water being treated. The chlorination of the water supply helped stop the epidemic and as a precaution, the chlorination was continued until 1911 when a new water supply was instituted. [95]

The first continuous use of chlorine in the United States for disinfection took place in 1908 at Boonton Reservoir (on the Rockaway River), which served as the supply for Jersey City, New Jersey. [96] Chlorination was achieved by controlled additions of dilute solutions of chloride of lime (calcium hypochlorite) at doses of 0.2 to 0.35 ppm. The treatment process was conceived by Dr. John L. Leal and the chlorination plant was designed by George Warren Fuller. [97] Over the next few years, chlorine disinfection using chloride of lime were rapidly installed in drinking water systems around the world. [98]

The technique of purification of drinking water by use of compressed liquefied chlorine gas was developed by a British officer in the Indian Medical Service, Vincent B. Nesfield, in 1903. According to his own account, "It occurred to me that chlorine gas might be found satisfactory . if suitable means could be found for using it. The next important question was how to render the gas portable. This might be accomplished in two ways: By liquefying it, and storing it in lead-lined iron vessels, having a jet with a very fine capillary canal, and fitted with a tap or a screw cap. The tap is turned on, and the cylinder placed in the amount of water required. The chlorine bubbles out, and in ten to fifteen minutes the water is absolutely safe. This method would be of use on a large scale, as for service water carts." [99]

U.S. Army Major Carl Rogers Darnall, Professor of Chemistry at the Army Medical School, gave the first practical demonstration of this in 1910. Shortly thereafter, Major William J. L. Lyster of the Army Medical Department used a solution of calcium hypochlorite in a linen bag to treat water. For many decades, Lyster's method remained the standard for U.S. ground forces in the field and in camps, implemented in the form of the familiar Lyster Bag (also spelled Lister Bag). This work became the basis for present day systems of municipal water purification. [ potreban je citat ]

Fluoridation Edit

Water fluoridation is a practice that has been carried out since the early 20th century for the purpose of decreasing tooth decay.

Trends Edit

The Sustainable Development Goal 6 formulated in 2015 includes targets on access to water supply and sanitation at a global level. In developing countries, self-supply of water and sanitation is used as an approach of incremental improvements to water and sanitation services, which are mainly financed by the user. Decentralized wastewater systems are also growing in importance to achieve sustainable sanitation. [100]

A basic form of contagion theory dates back to medicine in the medieval Islamic world, where it was proposed by Persian physician Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna) in The Canon of Medicine (1025), the most authoritative medical textbook of the Middle Ages. He mentioned that people can transmit disease to others by breath, noted contagion with tuberculosis, and discussed the transmission of disease through water and dirt. [101] The concept of invisible contagion was eventually widely accepted by Islamic scholars. In the Ayyubid Sultanate, they referred to them as najasat ("impure substances"). The fiqh scholar Ibn al-Haj al-Abdari (c. 1250–1336), while discussing Islamic diet and hygiene, gave advice and warnings about how contagion can contaminate water, food, and garments, and could spread through the water supply. [102]

Long before studies had established the germ theory of disease, or any advanced understanding of the nature of water as a vehicle for transmitting disease, traditional beliefs had cautioned against the consumption of water, rather favoring processed beverages such as beer, wine and tea. For example, in the camel caravans that crossed Central Asia along the Silk Road, the explorer Owen Lattimore noted, "The reason we drank so much tea was because of the bad water. Water alone, unboiled, is never drunk. There is a superstition that it causes blisters on the feet." [103]

One of the earliest understandings of waterborne diseases in Europe arose during the 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution took over Europe. [104] [105] Waterborne diseases, such as cholera, were once wrongly explained by the miasma theory, the theory that bad air causes the spread of diseases. [104] [105] However, people started to find a correlation between water quality and waterborne diseases, which led to different water purification methods, such as sand filtering and chlorinating their drinking water. [104]

Founders of microscopy, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Robert Hooke, used the newly invented microscope to observe for the first time small material particles that were suspended in the water, laying the groundwork for the future understanding of waterborne pathogens and waterborne diseases. [106]

In the 19th century, Britain was the center for rapid urbanization, and as a result, many health and sanitation problems manifested, for example cholera outbreaks and pandemics. This resulted in Britain playing a large role in the development for public health. [107] Before discovering the link between contaminated drinking water and diseases, such as cholera and other waterborne diseases, the miasma theory was used to justify the outbreaks of these illnesses. [107] Miasma theory is the theory that certain diseases and illnesses are the products of "bad airs". [108] The investigations of the physician John Snow in the United Kingdom during the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak clarified the connections between waterborne diseases and polluted drinking water. Although the germ theory of disease had not yet been developed, Snow's observations led him to discount the prevailing miasma theory. His 1855 essay On the Mode of Communication of Cholera conclusively demonstrated the role of the water supply in spreading the cholera epidemic in Soho, [109] with the use of a dot distribution map and statistical proof to illustrate the connection between the quality of the water source and cholera cases. During the 1854 epidemic, he collected and analyzed data establishing that people who drank water from contaminated sources such as the Broad Street pump died of cholera at much higher rates than those who got water elsewhere. His data convinced the local council to disable the water pump, which promptly ended the outbreak.

Edwin Chadwick, in particular, played a key role in Britain's sanitation movement, using the miasma theory to back up his plans for improving the sanitation situation in Britain. [107] Although Chadwick brought contributions to developing public health in the 19th century, it was John Snow and William Budd who introduced the idea that cholera was the consequence of contaminated water, presenting the idea that diseases could be transmitted through drinking water. [107]

People found that purifying and filtering their water improved the water quality and limited the cases of waterborne diseases. [107] In the German town Altona this finding was first illustrated by using a sand filtering system for its water supply. [107] A nearby town that didn't use any filtering system for their water suffered from the outbreak while Altona remained unaffected by the disease, providing evidence that the quality of water had something to do with the diseases. [107] After this discovery, Britain and the rest of Europe took into account to filter their drinking water, as well as chlorinating them to fight off waterborne diseases like cholera. [107]


Public toilets held their own hazards

Even public latrines – multi-seater toilets that were almost always connected to the main sewer lines of a city – posed serious threats to users. Don’t be fooled by the clean white marble and open-air sunniness of the reconstructed ruins we can see today most Roman public toilets were dark, dank and dirty, and often situated in small spaces. Those who could “hold it” long enough to return to their own houses with their own cesspit toilets certainly would have done so.

A humorous reconstruction of the communal nature of a Roman public latrine. Note the sponge-on-stick tools. Gemma C M Jansen

One public toilet at Ostia, with its revolving doors for access and fountain basin for cleaning up, could handle more than 20 clients at a time. I have found no evidence that Romans had to pay to use public toilets, and we really don’t know who managed or cleaned them, apart from the possibility of public slaves. To our modern eyes there was almost a complete lack of privacy in such facilities but bear in mind that Roman men would have been wearing tunics or togas, which would have provided more screening than a modern man would enjoy with pants that have to be pulled down. Perhaps a bigger problem for today’s standards of cleanliness: the Roman version of toilet paper in many cases was a communal sponge on a stick.

Even worse, these public latrines were notorious for terrifying customers when flames exploded from their seat openings. These were caused by gas explosions of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and methane (CH4) that were rank as well as frightening. Customers also had to worry about rats and other small vermin threatening to bite their bottoms. And then there was the perceived threat of demons that the Romans believed inhabited these black holes leading to the mysterious underbelly of the city.

One late Roman writer tells a particularly exciting story about such a demon. A certain Dexianos was sitting on the privy in the middle of the night, the text tells us, when a demon raised itself in front of him with savage ferocity. As soon as Dexianos saw the “hellish and insane” demon, he “became stunned, seized with fear and trembling, and covered with sweat.” Such superstition would provide another good reason for avoiding sewer connections in private house toilets.

Goddess Fortuna on the wall of a the Suburban Baths in Pompeii. Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

Going to a public toilet was definitely a dangerous business, so it is no wonder that the Goddess Fortuna often appears as a kind of “guardian angel” on the walls of toilets. We don’t tend to put religious shrines in our toilets, but we find them again and again in both public and private toilets in the Roman world.

One graffito on a side street in Pompeii directs a warning at a toilet-user himself: “Crapper Beware the Evil”… of crapping on the street? Of putting your bare bottom on an open toilet hole for fear of biting demons? Of the ill health you will feel if you do not move your bowels well? We’ll never know for sure, but these are likely possibilities, I think.

When we look at the evidence for Roman sanitary practices, both textual and archaeological, it becomes obvious that their perspectives were quite different from ours. Gaining a better understanding of Roman life on their streets, in their public spaces, and in their private dwellings shows us that they were in the early stages of developing systems that we’ve adopted – with upgrades – for our own problems with sanitation and clean water today.


Sewer system

The first sewer system in Rome is believed to have been built between 800 and 735 BCE. Rimljanin sewer system was extremely extensive in ancient Rome. For example, the largest Cloaca Maxima was 4.2 m high and 3.2 m wide and stretched for several kilometres. It was originally created as an open channel to drain water from the marshy area of ​​the later Forum Romanum. Strabo reports that Cloaca Maxima was large enough to accommodate a passing wagon loaded with hay 3 .

Rome at its peak (early 2nd century CE) is believed to have practically one million inhabitants. Based on the analysis of scientists, it is believed that an average person excretes 50 grams of stool per day, therefore ancient Rome had to measure 50 thousand kg of stool per day 4 .

The sewers had a very serious disadvantage – no gas discharge (venting), which could (and did) cause explosions of accumulated hydrogen sulphide. Another problem was the discharge of waste into the Tiber River. The level of the river changed quite frequently, which when it increased caused the waste to return “with the force of a waterfall” back to the Roman dwellings.

Also, sometimes, the channels were not open. Their purification was to be undertaken by the convicts, according to Plinius the Younger 5 .

The sewers could be inspected by boat, which he did personally, e.g. Marcus Agrippa when he was in the office of the Edel in 33 BCE. canals, taverns, baths, and the quality of water bodies. In addition, they were responsible for the patency of the sewers and the fight against foul odours.

In the 1st century CE, the Roman sewage system was very efficient. This is mentioned in Pliny the Elder in “Natural History”, claiming that he was the most outstanding achievement of all 6 .

The Roman aqueduct system provided the city’s inhabitants with water of varying quality. The best one was intended for drinking, while the lesser one was used in baths and latrines. The channels were made of stone. By design, the waste flowed from the latrines into the central canal and the main system flowed into a nearby river or stream.

It is worth mentioning that the sewage system in Rome was followed in other cities of the Empire – incl. in Eboracum (present York, England), where its remains are still impressive.


Reversing a River: How Chicago Flushed its Human Waste Downstream

F ebruary 17 marks an odious anniversary. On this date in 1906, the US Supreme Court ruled that the state of Illinois could complete an ambitious and controversial public works project: Chicago’s Sanitary and Ship Canal. The case – Missouri v. Illinois– illustrated the shortcomings of government-initiated “reforms” that ignored the history of Indigenous ecological practices and the environmental realities of local waterways.

Public officials and engineers in the Windy City began planning what was popularly known as the Chicago Drainage Canal in the late 1880s. Chicagoans used nearby Lake Michigan as both the source of their drinking water and the sewer for the discharge of human waste. After a series of cholera and typhoid outbreaks led to the deaths of thousands of Chicagoans, city and state officials began touting the Drainage Canal as the solution to the city’s public health problems. The solution to the public health crisis, according to state and city officials, was to reverse the flow of the Chicago River.

It was a modern solution to an age-old problem. Chicago wasn’t the first city to do battle with its own waste. Ancient civilizations from the Persians, the Egyptians, and the Greeks and Romans all struggled with this issue. By the nineteenth century, officials in growing European and North American cities continued to search for a solution to the mountains of excreta that fouled urban streets and polluted rivers. Most famously, London’s “Great Stink” during the summer of 1858 saw the River Thames choked with human waste and the city’s air filled with wretched odors.

Chicago faced a similar crisis as its Anglo-American population exploded. In 1833, the Odaawaa, Ojibwe, and Bodéwadmi signed the second Treaty of Chicago, transferring the lands and waterways that stretched from Lake Michigan to Lake Winnebago. Anglo-American settlers swarmed into the region. And then the city emerged as a major center of the American manufacturing, meatpacking, and shipping. From a settler population of 4,470 in 1840, Chicago became the second largest city in the United States by 1900 with a population of a little under 1.7 million.

Chicago’s rapid growth placed enormous strain on the region’s natural resources. For over a millennia Native people had cared for the land and waterways of the Great Lakes in a system that preserved both the people and the waters. Spiritual traditions and scientific knowledge taught Indigenous people not to foul the waters one drank from, or to pollute with human excreta the rivers in which community members bathed. Instead, Native people constructed refuse pits and latrines to ensure the purity of Lake Michigan’s waters.

Anglo-Americans did things differently. They viewed rivers as open-air sewers, something that revolted the Native people, who had long viewed Euro-Americans as a pretty disgusting lot. When white Americans began settling around Lake Michigan, they continued to display what Native peoples considered poor personal hygiene and to engage in practices that polluted local rivers. They also faced a number of geographical and topographical challenges to changing their waste management. Most obviously, the city was built on thick clayey soil, a monotonously flat topography, and uncooperative river currents. As Chicago’s population grew, local rivers and streams filled with human feces, while lakes abounded with the rotting carcasses of dead animals. Devastating cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea outbreaks were the result.

To solve the problem, officials and engineers turned to the idea of “self-purification.” This term refers to the natural process of rivers cleansing impurities from their ecosystems. As a rule, rivers with a dissolved oxygen level below 5mg/L tend to decline in health, and species die. At the end of the nineteenth century, Edwin Oakes Jordan, a University of Chicago scientists and advocate of the Drainage Canal, insisted that self-purification would help Chicago solve its waste problem and improve public health. In a series of studies, Jordan asserted that no significant levels of pollution were detected in water redirecting downstream.

So the engineers and officials agreed to fix Chicago’s waste problem with a progressive engineering feat. A 28-mile canal, or “conduit,” would connect the Chicago River with the Des Plaines River. Instead of the Chicago River emptying into Lake Michigan, pumping stations would funnel water from Lake Michigan through the canal, thereby flushing Chicago’s waste down river and toward the Des Plaines and Mississippi Rivers. To the engineers and scientists who promoted this plan, the success of the Drainage Canal rested on the idea of Progressive Era science giving riverine “self-purification” a helping hand.

The residents of St. Louis weren’t buying it. Scores of people living in downriver communities scoffed at the idea that a manmade canal could enhance the process of self-purification. Newspaper editors also ridiculed the idea. The Topeka State Journal lambasted engineers in January 1900, arguing that the proposal to reverse the flow of the Chicago River constituted an experiment “contrary to the laws of nature and contrary to the laws of gravity.” In July 1901, the Chicago Eagle added a broadly-held concern, insisting that redirecting the Chicago River would contaminate both the Des Plaines and Mississippi Rivers – which provided the drinking water for thousands of Americans.

Spurred by the distress of the state’s residents, Missouri officials sued the state of Illinois. Three cases captured national attention in the early twentieth century as Missouri and Illinois duked it out in the Supreme Court. The most consequential of these cases, Missouri v. Illinois, led to a trial that lasted from 1901 to 1906. The trial gave American scientists unprecedented visibility and sparked new donor interest in their research. But once the court heard all the expert testimony, Justice Holmes, speaking for the majority, sided with Illinois and the tide of Progressive Era reform. Missouri wanted to halt construction of the canal, and Holmes prefaced his rejection of that request by saying: “it is a question of the first magnitude whether the destiny of the great rivers is to be the sewers of the cities along their banks or to be protected against everything which threatens their purity. To decide the whole matter at one blow by an irrevocable fiat would be at least premature.”

Unwilling to act by “fiat,” Holmes left the health of American rivers for another generation to solve. The court’s decision allowed Illinois to complete the Drainage Canal and reverse the flow of the Chicago River. It was a spectacular feat of modern engineering… and it turned out that downriver residents were right: the Drainage Canal was too narrow, and the volume of human waste too large, to enable the Des Plaines and Mississippi Rivers to self-purify.

Human waste continued to pollute America’s inland rivers. In our current era of climate crisis, barely a day passes without local news outlets reporting on failed sewage systems or malfunctioning oil and gas pipelines polluting our rivers. The Indigenous elders were right: humans needed to work with the land and its waterways, not against it.

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About the Author

Gregory D. Smithers is Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University and a British Academy Global Professor with the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster at the University of Hull. He is the author of numerous books, including The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity (2015) Native Southerners: Indigenous History from Origins to Removal (2019) and forthcoming with Beacon Press, Reclaiming Two-Spirits: Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal, & Sovereignty in Native America.


Tracking The History Of Manual Scavenging In India And Its 2017 Existence

Manual scavenging on the first-time read might seem like an ancient practice, one that our ancestors used to do, the phrase sounds like such.

But while it may be old, it is definitely not extinct and still exists in India to this day.

In short, manual scavenging is pretty self-explanatory in itself, which means the practice of cleaning out, disposing of, handling or even carrying out animal and human excrement from sewers, streets and latrines.

However, this practice was prohibited in 1993 by the govt. of India and employment of manual scavengers to clean out ‘dry toilets’ was made illegal. In 2013 areas like unsanitary latrines, pits and even ditches were included in this law.

But what exactly do we know about this age-old profession in which till date about 180,000 people are employed?

What Is The History Behind Manual Scavenging?

Manual scavenging is not like other professions that have managed to break through the caste system if even a little. Instead, it is still firmly set in that area only which was created about 3,000 years back.

Yes, 3,000 years have passed since manual scavenging was introduced and it is deeply unfortunate that we still have that practice in existence.

As per the caste system, in the beginning, there were 4 varnas, these varnas created the castes of Brahmin, who would educate and were the intellectuals, then came the Kshatriya, who were the warriors and the protectors, then came the Vaisya, the merchants and the administrators, who would oversee the workings of the society. Lastly came the Shudra, who would be the peasants or farmers.

These varnas then comprised of hundreds and thousands of sub-groups that each had their own specific occupation imposed on them. However the one last one, below all these varnas, were those considered to be the ‘untouchables’, they are separate from the varnas or the castes and instead are the ‘outcastes’.

The reason why this sector was segregated was because they handled the dirty waste and more.

These people were also known as ‘bhangi’ which is a Sanskrit word for ‘broken’ and in Hindi means ‘trash’.

Later on, terms like Dalit and Scheduled Castes were added to this sector and they became a face of exactly how abhorrent and cruel the caste system of India was.

Why Is Manual Scavenging Such A Big Deal?

To be honest, in a way, not saying the segregation was ever a good thing, however, during the olden times, especially 3,000 years back, when we did not have the modern facilities of today, then it made sense to a certain extent.

This was a time when even a cold could result in death, life mortality was high and death was always round the corner. Pair that with the fact that sanitation was nil, there were no separate bathrooms, no sewer system, no systematic collection of waste and it just increased chances for disease.

Personal hygiene was also a luxury instead of something done daily and that too not to the best effect.

That is why, in a way, if you see, segregating the people who would take out the waste was not entirely illogical, as it prevented the spread of disease and bacteria.

However, when one comes to the modern times, with the slow but gradual inclusion of modern sanitation methods and more, this segregation does not make any bit of sense anymore.

Bear in mind that according to me, the caste system was fine about 2,000 years ago, but as we moved forward in time, and our society changed, this system should have seen some major changes.

The first being the inclusion of the Shudra or Dalit caste into being a part of the society and no longer considered as untouchables.

Who Is Still Doing Manual Scavenging?

It is extremely unfortunate to see that manual scavenging is still being practiced in our country. Such a dangerous and dehumanizing practice even after being made illegal is still active in India.

As per statistics collected from the Census of India 2011, there are about 182,505 manual scavengers that still exist in India, mainly in rural areas. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and more are ranked the highest having manual scavengers.

In today’s time according to certain reports a high percentage, almost about 95% of these manual scavengers are Dalit women.

One must also realize that just the govt. abolishing the practice does not automatically clear away the deep-set prejudice and stigma that comes from being in the profession and caste that the Indian society still levies heavily on them.

So even if they wanted to escape this profession, other places would not take them.


Roman Sewers, Aqueducts and Roads

Map Showing the Location of Roman Sewer Lines in Rome

Remains of a Roman Sewer in Spain


Sanitation and Hygiene in Medieval society

I know that the Romans had sewers for poops, but not the modern plumbing system. But what about for the medieval period? where does it go?

Latrines were often positioned over running water. In castles, they had a shaft which ran down either to water, or to a pit, which would be cleaned out at intervels.

Most people lived in the country, and would do their business at a distance from their houses 'a bow's length' (i.e. the distance you could shoot a bow) being the tradition.

In towns, things could certainly get unpleasant, but efforts were made to dispose of sewage. In 'Making a Living in the Middle Ages' Christopher Dyer writes:

'The town authorities aimed to create a decent environment. The elite, after all, lived in the town centres, so there was an element of self-interest in their policy, but they were also concerned with the reputation and general well-being of their town. they were beginning to provide piped water supplies, and by c.1300 refuse disposal was changing so that less use wsa being made of middens and pits in the back yards of houses, and mroe rubbish was being carried to tips on the outskirts. The town governments were also concerned about the obstruction of the streets by manure heaps, stacks of firewood and building timber, and stalls jutting out of the front of houses and shops. In London these problems were resolved through the 'assize of nuisance'. For example, in 1301 William de Betonia complained that the cesspit of his neighbour, William de Gartone, lay so close to his cellar that the sewage dripped through the wall. This was investigated by the mayor and aldermen, who did not accept de Gartone's argument that he was a free tenant and that his predecessors had always had a privy. Instead, the offender was given forty days to build a stone wall 2 1/2 feet thick between the pit and his neighbour's cellar.'

Nemowork

I wonder where do they poop?

I know that the Romans had sewers for poops, but not the modern plumbing system. But what about for the medieval period? where does it go?

Every once in a while you utilise the traditional flushing mechanism known as a gong firmer, otherwise known as a very smelly man who owned a horse, cart and shovel who would empty it for a fee.

It was a lucrative job, but not necessarily one that would help you make friends. except with other gong firmers.

Dawson567

D'artanian

Bunyip

In our own society having bowel movements in private is recent. EG I have actually seen PHOTOS of people of both sexes urinating and defecating in public in a large modern city. From memory,it was documentary called "Poo" or something like that.Really.

Medieval Europe was not clean. Most people simply did not bath and indoor plumbing was virtually unknown..EG: Queen Elizabeth 1 was considered eccentric because she bathed twice a year.

After the fall of Rome,medical treatment (from "doctors") was almost non existent for ordinary people,with many quite sophisticated treatments lost. EG the Romans had a cure for cataracts:In the early stages, cataracts are fluid. A Roman doctor would insert a thin tube into the eye and suck out the cataract.

Nowhere on earth did medical treatment begin to approach what is basic in most countries today before the development of germ theory and understanding of sepsis. The next great steps were vaccinations and the development of antibiotics.

A traditional view is that in ancient times,Egyptian, Greek and Roman medicine was superior. In Medieval times,Muslim doctors had that reputation.

Louise C

Louise C

I wonder where do they poop?

I know that the Romans had sewers for poops, but not the modern plumbing system. But what about for the medieval period? where does it go?

The vast majority of the population lived in the country - in England about 90% in the early medieval period, though by 1300 the population of towns had increased to 20% of the population - a figure that remained more or less the same until the 18th century.

In 'Life in a Medieval Village' Frances and Joseph Gies write:

'Sanitary arrangements seem to have consisted of a latrine trench, or merely the tradition of retiring to "a bowshot from the house".

In towns there could be more sophisticated arrangements. In 'Life in a Medieval city' Frances and Joseph Gies write:

'The toilet is usually a privy in the stable yard. A few city houses have a 'garderobe' off the sleeping-room, over a chute to a pit in the cellar that is emptied at intervals. ideally, such a convenience is built out over the water, an arrangement enjoyed by the count's palace on the canal. Next best is a drainpipe to a neighbouring ditch or stream.'

There were also public toilets in some towns - in London for instance the first public toilets were built in the early 12th century, by Henry I's wife Matilda.

In castles, and great houses there was often a 'garderobe'. In 'life in a Medieval Castle' Frances and Joseph Gies write:

'The latrine, or 'garderobe' an odd euphemism not to be confused with wardrobe, was situated as close to the bed chamber as possible (and was supplemented by the universally used chamber-pot). Ideally, the garderobe was sited at the end of a short, right-angled passage in the thickness of the wall, often in a buttress. When the chamber walls were not thick enough for this arrangement, a latrine was corbelled out from the wall over either a moat or river, as in the domestic range at Chepstow, or with a long shaft reaching nearly to the ground. This latter arrangement sometimes proved dangerous in a siege, as at Chateau Gaillard, Richard the Lionheart's castle on the Seine, where attackers obtained access by climbing up the latrine shaft. As a precaution, the end of the shaft was later protected by a masonry wall. Often several latrines were grouped together into a tower, sometimes in tiers, with a pit below, at the angle of the hall or solar, making theme easier to clean. In some castles rainwater from gutters above or from a cistern or diverted kitchen drainage flushed the shaft.

Henry III, travelling from one of his residences to another, sent orders ahead:

Since the privy chamber . in London is situated in an undue and improper place, wherefore it smells badly, we command you on the faith and love by which you are bounden to us that you in no wise omit to cause another privy chamber to be made . in such more fitting and proper place that you may select there, even though it should cost a hundred pounds, so that it may be made before the feast of the Translation of St Edward, before we come thither.'