A Brief History of Septic Systems

Aug 28, 2022

A Brief History of Septic Systems

Early Ages

As you know, nomads were people who used to move from one place to another all the time and the first humans were known to be nomads. In addition, they were very few so waste disposal was not really a big issue for them. However, as time passed and the population increased, people found it necessary to live in large groups and settle along riversides, which eventually created civilizations.

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Early Civilizations

Early civilizations like Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Greece, Indus River Valley, and Ancient China had larger populations and had to function as a society in all terms, this included organized governments, writing, art, buildings, and of course sanitary systems. The time of different sanitation and waste removal techniques of these civilizations overlaps so it’s hard to say which one created the first septic system. However, it is known that Mesopotamia was one of these civilizations that came up with the first solution. They used drainage pits for the public, but some houses even used very broad drainage pipes that carried away both the waste and the rain. But it is known for sure that the Greeks made this system much more user-friendly and advanced. They used many different engineering methods to connect individual houses to smaller disposal facilities which took them into larger pipes and took the waste outside of the city, so the city’s people weren’t in contact with the waste. The Roman empire did something similar and regulated the treatment of sewage through laws.

Middle Ages

Middle Ages, also known as the "Dark Ages" was a period that came right after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Since many of us may be familiar with the concept from history lessons already, this period saw a significant decline in many aspects including education, government, economy, art, and science. Unfortunately, sanitation also took a big hit during this period. During this period, there was no control of sanitation whatsoever and because they couldn’t treat the water first, many of the drinking sources were contaminated, which also explains why so many people died due to diseases during the Dark Ages. This period lasted for about 1000 years.

Back To Being Sanitary Once Again

Slowly, with the start of the Industrial Revolution, many European countries were able to set boundaries and systems when it came to sanitation. During this time the very first septic tank was also invented and luckily, we know the person who invented it so we can give him the credit- John-Luis Moras. He basically combined the models of Greeks, the cesspools, and fousse Mouras (he created the term, which basically was a tank that was able to hold the waste). This tank was made up of clay. After he and his friend took the patent for the septic tank, the model became so popular that it traveled across the ocean to the United States. After some years, many people preferred septic system installation in their houses which finally evolved into the septic systems that we all use today.

Modern Septic Systems

Up until now, you may have taken your septic system for granted, but now you know how painful it was to get to this point and how many people have suffered and even lost their lives just because they didn’t have access to proper sewage treatment. After this point, we don’t think you will look at your septic system in the same way ever again and hopefully know its importance. To protect this system that is very precious to our society, make sure to get regular maintenance and if anything goes wrong with your septic system, call the professionals of Septic Blue of Charlotte for septic tank repair. Contact us today for more information!