Though certain areas of the United States are not as clean as others, we are generally a germ-conscious country; however, things have not always been that way, even in Reading, PA. There was a time where people would dump their chamber pots out the window onto the street below. People also did not wash their hands after using the bathroom, which lead to the spread of e.coli until people learned how important it was to wash their hands. Thanks to the plumbing industry, the United States would end up setting unsurpassed standards in health and safety in the world. At the forefront was the unsung plumber, the skilled craftsman of lead, expert bell hanger, blacksmith, toolmaker, tin and sheet-iron worker. After the Civil War, people realized that a contagion could be traced to contaminated water supplies and unsanitary waste disposal. With waves of cholera, typhus and typhoid fever sweeping the country, the people turned to the resources of government to investigate the causes.
In 1848, the government developed the English Public Health Code of 1848; this code became a model plumbing code for the world to follow. Twenty years later, the New York Metropolitan Board of Health was the first such health board in the United States. Two years later, its Metropolitan Health Law was considered the most complete health legislation in the world. The nature of ground water was studied, as were drainage, sewage, water supply, garbage disposal and location and characteristics of water closets. The plumber, long vilified in early years, became a Sanitarian who could prevent the spread of disease and save people by providing effective waste removal plans and plumbing systems to provide access to fresh, clean water. The idea of sanitary plumbing systems within buildings soon spread throughout Europe. As the idea spread, plumbing health codes expanded their coverage to envelope examination, training and licensing. Trade associations were formed to spearhead plumbing ordinances and laws for regulations and examination. While master plumbers knew a great deal about pipes, many new plumbing inventions had appeared and too many plumbers were ill-prepared. As a result, a variety of associations and committees met to establish rules, codes, and requirements for plumbers so that plumbers would have access to, and be required to know, how to install, maintain, and repair various plumbing systems.
Wholesalers also banded together to encourage manufacturers into standardizing sink and basin outlets, faucet drilling, trap gauges, etc. Unfortunately, it took over 30 years to fully standardize various plumbing items and fixtures such as those listed above. Today, we take for granted how standardized things are and the wonderful consistency we have with plumbing tools. For example, even if the knobs are different, we understand how to make our shower hotter or colder. We understand how to run the faucet for moderately warm water, and sinks have relatively similar depths and designs. All of this is possible because of the work of dedicated plumbers decades ago. In 1934, Major Joel Connolly, Chief Inspector of the Chicago Bureau of Sanitary Engineering, spoke these prophetic words: “Plumbing demands the very best, painstaking effort that thoroughly qualified, certified plumbers can give in every building, and especially where the systems are complicated and extensive, and where large numbers of people may be affected by contamination of water.”
Thankfully, you can rest assured knowing the plumbers at The Plumbing Works know all of the important codes, have all the required licenses, and are regularly educated on new technology so that they can provide their Reading, PA clients with the best service possible. For over 20 years we have been meeting and exceeding the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning needs of our residential and commercial clients. We know how stressful plumbing, heating, and cooling damage can be and have made it a point to be part of the solution. So if you need help give us a call.