Few words about plumbing - Wikipedia
Plumbing (which comes from the Latin word plumbum, which means lead, as pipes were once made from lead) is the job of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures for drinking water systems and getting rid of waste. A plumber is someone who fixes or puts in piping systems, plumbing fixtures and equipment such as water heaters. Many plumbers are construction workers. The plumbing industry is an important part of every developed economy because people need clean water and safe ways to move and store waste.
Plumbing also refers to a system of pipes and fixtures put in a building to move water and the get rid of waste that is in water. Plumbing is different from water and sewage systems because plumbing system serves one building, while water and sewage systems serve a group of buildings or a city.
Plumbing - the not so modern history
Plumbing was very rare until modern cities grew in the 19th century. At about the same time, public health leaders began wanting better systems to get rid of waste. Before this, people got rid of waste by collecting it and dumping it onto the ground or into rivers. However, there were some plumbing pipes in the city settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2700 B.C. Plumbing was also used during the ancient civilizations such as the Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations as they built public baths and needed drinking water, and somewhere to drain waste. The Romans used pipe inscriptions to stop people from stealing water.
These systems did not improve much over the years. There were almost no improvements from the time of the Roman aqueducts and lead pipes until the 19th century. Eventually the development of separate, underground water and sewage systems got rid of open sewage ditches and cesspools. Most large cities today send solid wastes through pipes to sewage treatment plants. Treatment separates water from waste and makes the water more pure before it goes into streams or other bodies of water. Most places stopped using lead for drinking water after World War II because of the dangers of lead poisoning. At this time, copper piping was started because it was safer than using lead pipes.
Wikipedia and the definition of plumbing
Wikipedia tells us a little about what plumbing really is:
Plumbing is the system of pipes, drains, fittings, valves, and fixtures installed for the distribution of potable water for drinking, heating and washing, and waterborne waste removal. "Plumbing" also refers to a skilled trade which deals with installation and maintenance.
The plumbing industry is a basic and substantial part of every developed economy. The word derives from the Latin plumbum for lead, as the first effective pipes used in Roman era were lead pipes.
"Plumbing" often denotes the supply and waste system of an individual building, distinguishing it from water supply and sewage systems that serve a group of buildings.