Water supply and wastewater system: brief history

Long time ago, probably up to present, public water facilities were part of civil engineer’s project. Water supply and wastewater drainage were among the job whose civil engineers do to preserve environment and protect human health.

It is somehow necessary how these particular work began since the ancient time. We probably have known famous story from ancient Rome, which is popular with their water and wastewater management. Their well-know systems were aqueducts build to carry spring water at that time. Another thing that must be noted was that, Rome water’s system was built centralized. So the access point of water and wastewater system was outside the household, not towards each individual. So, people to obtain water, or discharge wastewater, they had to go outside to the central location.

Before the construction of aqueducts, actually Romans got their water source from Tiber River, local springs and wells. But due to those resources became polluted and not sufficient to compensate city’s population growth, then they built aqueducts. It was in 312 B.C when they started to construct. Rome ancient’s aqueduct was built to carry spring water, which even better to drink than Tiber River water.

The development of water supply system continued during 18th and 19th centuries, European poorer people lived in the situation when water was sold expensive, and heavily polluted. Popular example, we have often heard, in London water was supplied by 9 private companies and sold to people. Poor people who could not afford to pay it, often steal or begging to others. This was even worse when the epidemics disease emerged in the middle of people’s sorrow of water.

First public water supply system was installed in 1652 consisted of wooden pipes, bored and charred, and the first citywide was constructed in Winston-Salem, NC, 1776. In 1835, aqueducts had been built to distribute clean water to Manhattan Island. The project was completed 6 years later.

Since then, the development of water supply and wastewater system still ongoing to a mature design process for good system.

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