Monday, May 22, 2017

The Modern history of plumbing: enter Wavin! (part IV in a series)

This last fitting on our history of plumbing, pipes and plumbers starts in 19th-century London, a ticking time-bomb of sanitation problems....

The National Public Health Act was passed in 1848, an important code for the world to follow

This last fitting on our history of plumbing, pipes and plumbers starts in 19th-century London, a ticking time-bomb of sanitation problems. The lack of a sewer system in this growing metropolis was creating a health crisis with London’s population of one million in 1800 growing to four million by 1900. The tenements of the city swarmed with people with no indoor facilities or running water. London depended on cesspools and deep holes for their waste, creating a horrible stench.

From Punch Magazine, 1895; London welcomes pestilence and death from the river Thames

The National Public Health Act helped set the stage for relief, promising new standards – the opening salvo of London’s modern age of sewers. With the summer heat wave of 1858, the stench from the city and the Thames river was so unbearable, that this "world city" became known as The Great Stink. London came to a standstill and government could barely function; social and business leaders joined the people to demand relief. The solution: a modern and impressive underground network of brick sewers and lead pipping, taking 1,000 laborers eight years to build. Not long after that (1913) the first patent was granted for the new PVC process. Then 1936 to 1941 saw test PVC pipelines laid across Germany, including Berlin during the 1936 Olympics.

Wavin's important contributions to the history of plumbing, pipes and plumbers began Zwolle, the Netherlands

Wavin’s own history in the modern era of plumbing and piping started in 1955, with the successful development of the first large diameter plastic pressure pipes. Today Wavin continues with innovative products and materials, like our Recycore Technology, with recycled material that helps clients support their recycling efforts.

Wavin’s solutions today impact a whole world of professionals

Today plumber professionals require more choices and world class solutions for the technical challenges of modern building plumbing and sanitary sewer standards. It’s a fascinating mission (one of the great reasons to become a plumber!) that involves complex blueprints, municipal and building codes, building plans, etc. Wavin provides the results, from drinking water to sewage solutions…just imagine what we could have done for London 150 years ago!

Don't forget to read part One, Two and Three of this series about the History of Plumbing!