Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Have you hugged your plumber lately?

Let’s take a trip in the Wayback Machine and consider how fragile good health was before modern plumbing. Water-bourne illnesses ran rampant…cholera, dysentery and internal parasites to name a few.

During the Dark Ages, the Romans invented the earliest forms of plumbing. According to Wikipedia, “A system of thirteen Roman aqueducts provided the inhabitants of Rome with water of varying quality, the best being reserved for potable supplies. Poorer-quality water was used in public baths and in latrines, which were an early form of toilet.”

Closer to home, Cincinnati’s suburb of Mt. Healthy is locally famous as a safe haven during a statewide cholera epidemic that lasted two decades during the 1830’s to the 1850’s. Cholera, the harbinger disease of drinking water or food contaminated with feces, causes devastating diarrhea, vomiting, cramps and rapid death in its victims.

In the late 1850’s, modern toilets found their way to America (read: no more cholera) and by the early 1900’s, toilets were becoming a fixture in urban homes. Today, 99% of Americans have indoor plumbing (and last winter, we were truly grateful outhouses have gone the way of the Dodo bird).

The next time you call a plumber (and there’s always a next time when it comes to plumbing), be sure to tell him “thanks.” Without him, we’d have no place to go.

We’ve all heard the 3 rules of plumbing: Water runs downhill, payday’s on Friday and don’t bite your fingernails. But more than that, plumbers protect the health of our nation and our families, with quiet grace and dignity while manning a gritty sewer machine and a pipe wrench. Some things are best done by the professionals and not so much from a YouTube video.

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