Water for London

The StrandNicola here. On behalf of all the Wenches I’d like to wish all our US readers and friends a very Happy 4th July and indeed a happy day to everyone, wherever you are in the world!

Wench reader Jeannette asks: “A question about the water supply in London. Was there a muncipal water supply for Mayfair back then? Surely they didn't have wells. Was the sanitation, even in the wealthy neighborhoods, quite bad? How did one dispose of "waste", for example? Did they have trash pickup?”

All great questions and I am going to try and answer a few of them at least. I’m sure the other wenches will have done some research on this as well so will chip in with some fascinating facts on water, waste and wells!

I first became interested in the logistical problems of a water supply for London when I visited Canonbury Square Canonbury Square a few years ago. Canonbury Square was laid out in 1800, the first square to be built in Islington as residential London started to spread outwards in the late 18th century. As an aside, Canonbury Square has a lot of literary associations. It was developed by Henry Leroux and Richard Laycock on land belonging to the Marquess of Northampton and over the years has been home to Evelyn Waugh, Nancy Mitford and George Orwell. Some of the elegant Georgian houses still have their original numbering. Anyway, whist I was sitting in the garden in the centre of the square I noticed a plaque about the “New River” which supplied water for London.

The New RiverThe “new river” (it was new in 1604) is an aqueduct that was designed to bring natural spring water from Hertfordshire into central London. In the 17th and 18th centuries, private water companies were formed, funded by shareholders, in order to develop ways to improve the water supply to the city. The New River was a good example of how this was done. A covered reservoir was built at the beginning of the 18th century and during that century they increased the amount of water drawn by using a windmill powered by a windlass. In the 19th century this was replaced by a steam engine. The water was piped into central London in elm pipes. Walking along the New River (which has now been turned into a lovely park) really made me think about the demand for water in an ever- expanding city.

In 1800 the population of London was approximately one million and water was still being piped in to the city via wooden pipes, which frequently needed repair, especially where the joints cracked. Elm pipes would last about 20 years and several rival water companies would have pipes in the same streets. In 1763 the Duke of Bedford wrote to the New River company: “I am going to pave the street before my house; and observing that the pipes belonging to you are continually breaking and that the pavement when taken up to mend the pipes is always laid down in a very bad manner, I give you this notice that you may direct that the pipes be made good.”

The Duke paid the New River company £10 6s a year for the water supply to his huge house in 'Southampton_or_Bloomsbury_Square',_London,_c1725 Bloomsbury Square. Smaller houses paid roughly a guinea a year. The company owned 400 miles of pipes, each of which was 7 foot long, meaning 300 000 pipes and joints to maintain! It was no wonder there were issues with water leaks.

A number of reservoirs were built in and around London, including one at Cavendish Square near Oxford Street. The water companies tried wind power to pump the water but found it too unreliable, so fell back on horse power and later steam power. They also learned that covered reservoirs were essential – in winter the uncovered ones often froze! The other hazard to look out for was fish. Both carp and eel were found in pipes belonging to the New River Company. 

A later account of water supply is more complementary as standards improved: “Beneath the pavements are vast subterraneous sewers arched over to convey away the waste water which in other cities is so noisome above ground, and at a less depth are buried wooden pipes that supply every house plentifully with water, conducted by leaden pipes into kitchens or cellars, three times a week for the trifling expense of three shillings per quarter.”

Once in the kitchen or cellar the water was stored in a cistern. The turncock was in control of the water supply. It was he who turned the water on and off for the use of the inhabitants. It ran only for a few hours and only for two or three days per week. In the poorer parts of London where there was an even more limited supply, people would fill every container they could find with enough water to last them seven days.

  NightcartThe “sewers” were not sewers in our sense of the word but drains to take away the waste water. Until the later 18th century sewage went into the cess pit where it was emptied by the night-soil men who took it away in barrels in the middle of the night. Since this was another service one had to pay for, those inhabitants of London who were below the poverty line had neither water supply nor the means to have their cesspools emptied and it took a cholera epidemic in the 19th century to change things for the better. However, the middle and upper classes were starting to have “water closets” by the later 18th century and there were sometimes sewers into which this “offensive matter” as it was referred to at the time, could be emptied.

In contrast, the management of household waste was surprisingly advanced for the time. In 1751 a city-wide system for the management of waste was proposed with the idea that rubbish should be taken out of the city and put into landfill. Appropriate waste matter could also be used as fertilizer to improve the land. In cities such as Southampton there was by the 1750s a municipal waste collection for rubbish and animal dung. The refuse collectors were called “scavengers” and were paid “10 guineas per year plus a couple of capons.”

London_Bedford_Square_May_2005That’s it for my brief foray through water and waste for London. Thank you to Jeannette for the question!  It makes me hugely thankful that these days even those of us living out in the country have an efficient system of water supply and waste disposal and it also makes me very aware that there are still parts of the world where this isn’t the case.

Do you have any water-related experiences to share? How do you cope when there’s a water shortage or if you can’t have access to running water? Do you think you could have managed with water for only a few hours a day a couple of days a week? And how would you react to an eel in the pipes? 

140 thoughts on “Water for London”

  1. Really interesting, Nicola – especially as waste is my ‘thing’! I didn’t know about the wooden pipes, so thank you for that little nugget of information.
    People often think that cities in the past were squalid, but as you’ve pointed out, there was a well established system for dealing with waste and keeping the streets clean, that in fact dates back long before the 18th century. In 16th-century York, for instance, household waste was collected three times a week – it’s once a fortnight now!

    Reply
  2. Really interesting, Nicola – especially as waste is my ‘thing’! I didn’t know about the wooden pipes, so thank you for that little nugget of information.
    People often think that cities in the past were squalid, but as you’ve pointed out, there was a well established system for dealing with waste and keeping the streets clean, that in fact dates back long before the 18th century. In 16th-century York, for instance, household waste was collected three times a week – it’s once a fortnight now!

    Reply
  3. Really interesting, Nicola – especially as waste is my ‘thing’! I didn’t know about the wooden pipes, so thank you for that little nugget of information.
    People often think that cities in the past were squalid, but as you’ve pointed out, there was a well established system for dealing with waste and keeping the streets clean, that in fact dates back long before the 18th century. In 16th-century York, for instance, household waste was collected three times a week – it’s once a fortnight now!

    Reply
  4. Really interesting, Nicola – especially as waste is my ‘thing’! I didn’t know about the wooden pipes, so thank you for that little nugget of information.
    People often think that cities in the past were squalid, but as you’ve pointed out, there was a well established system for dealing with waste and keeping the streets clean, that in fact dates back long before the 18th century. In 16th-century York, for instance, household waste was collected three times a week – it’s once a fortnight now!

    Reply
  5. Really interesting, Nicola – especially as waste is my ‘thing’! I didn’t know about the wooden pipes, so thank you for that little nugget of information.
    People often think that cities in the past were squalid, but as you’ve pointed out, there was a well established system for dealing with waste and keeping the streets clean, that in fact dates back long before the 18th century. In 16th-century York, for instance, household waste was collected three times a week – it’s once a fortnight now!

    Reply
  6. My most interesting water experience was the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The name comes from the fact it was built underneath a basilica. It is the size of a huge church, supported by carved pillars. It’s no longer a source of water; instead, it’s a tourist site, with wooden platforms above the water that naturally fills the chambers; these walkways wind past some of the most elaborately carved pillars. The lighting place on the walkways projecting up is spectacular, almost like a magical glamor. In that light, it’s possible to see typical vines and leaves on some pillars and faces of mythical characters in others.
    I have often wondered about sewers in London because I have been in cities in underdeveloped countries where there still are open sewers. Interesting to know that they developed good systems to cope.

    Reply
  7. My most interesting water experience was the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The name comes from the fact it was built underneath a basilica. It is the size of a huge church, supported by carved pillars. It’s no longer a source of water; instead, it’s a tourist site, with wooden platforms above the water that naturally fills the chambers; these walkways wind past some of the most elaborately carved pillars. The lighting place on the walkways projecting up is spectacular, almost like a magical glamor. In that light, it’s possible to see typical vines and leaves on some pillars and faces of mythical characters in others.
    I have often wondered about sewers in London because I have been in cities in underdeveloped countries where there still are open sewers. Interesting to know that they developed good systems to cope.

    Reply
  8. My most interesting water experience was the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The name comes from the fact it was built underneath a basilica. It is the size of a huge church, supported by carved pillars. It’s no longer a source of water; instead, it’s a tourist site, with wooden platforms above the water that naturally fills the chambers; these walkways wind past some of the most elaborately carved pillars. The lighting place on the walkways projecting up is spectacular, almost like a magical glamor. In that light, it’s possible to see typical vines and leaves on some pillars and faces of mythical characters in others.
    I have often wondered about sewers in London because I have been in cities in underdeveloped countries where there still are open sewers. Interesting to know that they developed good systems to cope.

    Reply
  9. My most interesting water experience was the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The name comes from the fact it was built underneath a basilica. It is the size of a huge church, supported by carved pillars. It’s no longer a source of water; instead, it’s a tourist site, with wooden platforms above the water that naturally fills the chambers; these walkways wind past some of the most elaborately carved pillars. The lighting place on the walkways projecting up is spectacular, almost like a magical glamor. In that light, it’s possible to see typical vines and leaves on some pillars and faces of mythical characters in others.
    I have often wondered about sewers in London because I have been in cities in underdeveloped countries where there still are open sewers. Interesting to know that they developed good systems to cope.

    Reply
  10. My most interesting water experience was the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The name comes from the fact it was built underneath a basilica. It is the size of a huge church, supported by carved pillars. It’s no longer a source of water; instead, it’s a tourist site, with wooden platforms above the water that naturally fills the chambers; these walkways wind past some of the most elaborately carved pillars. The lighting place on the walkways projecting up is spectacular, almost like a magical glamor. In that light, it’s possible to see typical vines and leaves on some pillars and faces of mythical characters in others.
    I have often wondered about sewers in London because I have been in cities in underdeveloped countries where there still are open sewers. Interesting to know that they developed good systems to cope.

    Reply
  11. I lived in Montana in the 1990’s and hauled water (and ice in winter) in a bucket from the nearby creek for seven years while saving up to drill a well. In the summer my outhouse had a very active beehive under the seat and in the winter there was hoarfrost on the TP. I live in civilization now and say a prayer of thanks to the plumbers of the world every time I take a hot shower (indoors!!!).
    When I first moved to the farm there was a stack of old broken wooden water pipes next to the creek. The nearby town’s water supply had been piped from there. They were about 8 feet long, about a foot in outer diameter, bound with metal straps every foot or so, and obviously made locally (as was just about everything we had). My guess is the wood was Western Larch, as it was what we used for fence posts that were set in the low field where the water table was high.

    Reply
  12. I lived in Montana in the 1990’s and hauled water (and ice in winter) in a bucket from the nearby creek for seven years while saving up to drill a well. In the summer my outhouse had a very active beehive under the seat and in the winter there was hoarfrost on the TP. I live in civilization now and say a prayer of thanks to the plumbers of the world every time I take a hot shower (indoors!!!).
    When I first moved to the farm there was a stack of old broken wooden water pipes next to the creek. The nearby town’s water supply had been piped from there. They were about 8 feet long, about a foot in outer diameter, bound with metal straps every foot or so, and obviously made locally (as was just about everything we had). My guess is the wood was Western Larch, as it was what we used for fence posts that were set in the low field where the water table was high.

    Reply
  13. I lived in Montana in the 1990’s and hauled water (and ice in winter) in a bucket from the nearby creek for seven years while saving up to drill a well. In the summer my outhouse had a very active beehive under the seat and in the winter there was hoarfrost on the TP. I live in civilization now and say a prayer of thanks to the plumbers of the world every time I take a hot shower (indoors!!!).
    When I first moved to the farm there was a stack of old broken wooden water pipes next to the creek. The nearby town’s water supply had been piped from there. They were about 8 feet long, about a foot in outer diameter, bound with metal straps every foot or so, and obviously made locally (as was just about everything we had). My guess is the wood was Western Larch, as it was what we used for fence posts that were set in the low field where the water table was high.

    Reply
  14. I lived in Montana in the 1990’s and hauled water (and ice in winter) in a bucket from the nearby creek for seven years while saving up to drill a well. In the summer my outhouse had a very active beehive under the seat and in the winter there was hoarfrost on the TP. I live in civilization now and say a prayer of thanks to the plumbers of the world every time I take a hot shower (indoors!!!).
    When I first moved to the farm there was a stack of old broken wooden water pipes next to the creek. The nearby town’s water supply had been piped from there. They were about 8 feet long, about a foot in outer diameter, bound with metal straps every foot or so, and obviously made locally (as was just about everything we had). My guess is the wood was Western Larch, as it was what we used for fence posts that were set in the low field where the water table was high.

    Reply
  15. I lived in Montana in the 1990’s and hauled water (and ice in winter) in a bucket from the nearby creek for seven years while saving up to drill a well. In the summer my outhouse had a very active beehive under the seat and in the winter there was hoarfrost on the TP. I live in civilization now and say a prayer of thanks to the plumbers of the world every time I take a hot shower (indoors!!!).
    When I first moved to the farm there was a stack of old broken wooden water pipes next to the creek. The nearby town’s water supply had been piped from there. They were about 8 feet long, about a foot in outer diameter, bound with metal straps every foot or so, and obviously made locally (as was just about everything we had). My guess is the wood was Western Larch, as it was what we used for fence posts that were set in the low field where the water table was high.

    Reply
  16. Thank you for a fascinating insight into water and waste management in the past. I love the bit about the Duke of Bedford chivvying the water company [wish he were here to do the same to the Water Company currently refitting the pipes through Reading, as the town is gridlocked by the ongoing works].
    The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul used to supply water to nearby streets and squares via porcelain pipes. I wonder if they lasted better than wooden ones.

    Reply
  17. Thank you for a fascinating insight into water and waste management in the past. I love the bit about the Duke of Bedford chivvying the water company [wish he were here to do the same to the Water Company currently refitting the pipes through Reading, as the town is gridlocked by the ongoing works].
    The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul used to supply water to nearby streets and squares via porcelain pipes. I wonder if they lasted better than wooden ones.

    Reply
  18. Thank you for a fascinating insight into water and waste management in the past. I love the bit about the Duke of Bedford chivvying the water company [wish he were here to do the same to the Water Company currently refitting the pipes through Reading, as the town is gridlocked by the ongoing works].
    The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul used to supply water to nearby streets and squares via porcelain pipes. I wonder if they lasted better than wooden ones.

    Reply
  19. Thank you for a fascinating insight into water and waste management in the past. I love the bit about the Duke of Bedford chivvying the water company [wish he were here to do the same to the Water Company currently refitting the pipes through Reading, as the town is gridlocked by the ongoing works].
    The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul used to supply water to nearby streets and squares via porcelain pipes. I wonder if they lasted better than wooden ones.

    Reply
  20. Thank you for a fascinating insight into water and waste management in the past. I love the bit about the Duke of Bedford chivvying the water company [wish he were here to do the same to the Water Company currently refitting the pipes through Reading, as the town is gridlocked by the ongoing works].
    The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul used to supply water to nearby streets and squares via porcelain pipes. I wonder if they lasted better than wooden ones.

    Reply
  21. After Hurricane Ivan in 2004, we lived without electricity for 6 weeks, and without water and sewer service for several days. I quickly learned that, no matter how much I adore my regency romances, I am a true child of the modern era. I want my clean, fresh, eel-free water on demand 24/7!

    Reply
  22. After Hurricane Ivan in 2004, we lived without electricity for 6 weeks, and without water and sewer service for several days. I quickly learned that, no matter how much I adore my regency romances, I am a true child of the modern era. I want my clean, fresh, eel-free water on demand 24/7!

    Reply
  23. After Hurricane Ivan in 2004, we lived without electricity for 6 weeks, and without water and sewer service for several days. I quickly learned that, no matter how much I adore my regency romances, I am a true child of the modern era. I want my clean, fresh, eel-free water on demand 24/7!

    Reply
  24. After Hurricane Ivan in 2004, we lived without electricity for 6 weeks, and without water and sewer service for several days. I quickly learned that, no matter how much I adore my regency romances, I am a true child of the modern era. I want my clean, fresh, eel-free water on demand 24/7!

    Reply
  25. After Hurricane Ivan in 2004, we lived without electricity for 6 weeks, and without water and sewer service for several days. I quickly learned that, no matter how much I adore my regency romances, I am a true child of the modern era. I want my clean, fresh, eel-free water on demand 24/7!

    Reply
  26. I enjoyed that piece very much and have often researched this.
    Regarding water shortages, as a resident of Baton Rouge,La, I definitely have had my experience with this. The most important thing is to have a plan of action set in place. As one of the most popular spots for hurricanes to hit, we are pretty well experienced in these water and waste issues!

    Reply
  27. I enjoyed that piece very much and have often researched this.
    Regarding water shortages, as a resident of Baton Rouge,La, I definitely have had my experience with this. The most important thing is to have a plan of action set in place. As one of the most popular spots for hurricanes to hit, we are pretty well experienced in these water and waste issues!

    Reply
  28. I enjoyed that piece very much and have often researched this.
    Regarding water shortages, as a resident of Baton Rouge,La, I definitely have had my experience with this. The most important thing is to have a plan of action set in place. As one of the most popular spots for hurricanes to hit, we are pretty well experienced in these water and waste issues!

    Reply
  29. I enjoyed that piece very much and have often researched this.
    Regarding water shortages, as a resident of Baton Rouge,La, I definitely have had my experience with this. The most important thing is to have a plan of action set in place. As one of the most popular spots for hurricanes to hit, we are pretty well experienced in these water and waste issues!

    Reply
  30. I enjoyed that piece very much and have often researched this.
    Regarding water shortages, as a resident of Baton Rouge,La, I definitely have had my experience with this. The most important thing is to have a plan of action set in place. As one of the most popular spots for hurricanes to hit, we are pretty well experienced in these water and waste issues!

    Reply
  31. My goodness, Sylvia, you were impressively hardy, coping with those circumstances. Very interesting about the wooden water pipes. I guess they would be more efficient when bound with metal straps.

    Reply
  32. My goodness, Sylvia, you were impressively hardy, coping with those circumstances. Very interesting about the wooden water pipes. I guess they would be more efficient when bound with metal straps.

    Reply
  33. My goodness, Sylvia, you were impressively hardy, coping with those circumstances. Very interesting about the wooden water pipes. I guess they would be more efficient when bound with metal straps.

    Reply
  34. My goodness, Sylvia, you were impressively hardy, coping with those circumstances. Very interesting about the wooden water pipes. I guess they would be more efficient when bound with metal straps.

    Reply
  35. My goodness, Sylvia, you were impressively hardy, coping with those circumstances. Very interesting about the wooden water pipes. I guess they would be more efficient when bound with metal straps.

    Reply
  36. Yes, some things really don’t change, do they, Beth, including outraged letters to the water companies and the disruption of work on the pipes! I was interested to hear about pipes made of porcelain. I would have thought they would crack more easily.

    Reply
  37. Yes, some things really don’t change, do they, Beth, including outraged letters to the water companies and the disruption of work on the pipes! I was interested to hear about pipes made of porcelain. I would have thought they would crack more easily.

    Reply
  38. Yes, some things really don’t change, do they, Beth, including outraged letters to the water companies and the disruption of work on the pipes! I was interested to hear about pipes made of porcelain. I would have thought they would crack more easily.

    Reply
  39. Yes, some things really don’t change, do they, Beth, including outraged letters to the water companies and the disruption of work on the pipes! I was interested to hear about pipes made of porcelain. I would have thought they would crack more easily.

    Reply
  40. Yes, some things really don’t change, do they, Beth, including outraged letters to the water companies and the disruption of work on the pipes! I was interested to hear about pipes made of porcelain. I would have thought they would crack more easily.

    Reply
  41. That must have been very difficult, Arabella. Every time we have a power cut I realise all over again how fortunate we are to have these amenities running smoothly most of the time. Like you I love reading about history but the practicalities of only washing clothes once a week (or once a month) don’t appeal. Nor does doing all the work by hand!

    Reply
  42. That must have been very difficult, Arabella. Every time we have a power cut I realise all over again how fortunate we are to have these amenities running smoothly most of the time. Like you I love reading about history but the practicalities of only washing clothes once a week (or once a month) don’t appeal. Nor does doing all the work by hand!

    Reply
  43. That must have been very difficult, Arabella. Every time we have a power cut I realise all over again how fortunate we are to have these amenities running smoothly most of the time. Like you I love reading about history but the practicalities of only washing clothes once a week (or once a month) don’t appeal. Nor does doing all the work by hand!

    Reply
  44. That must have been very difficult, Arabella. Every time we have a power cut I realise all over again how fortunate we are to have these amenities running smoothly most of the time. Like you I love reading about history but the practicalities of only washing clothes once a week (or once a month) don’t appeal. Nor does doing all the work by hand!

    Reply
  45. That must have been very difficult, Arabella. Every time we have a power cut I realise all over again how fortunate we are to have these amenities running smoothly most of the time. Like you I love reading about history but the practicalities of only washing clothes once a week (or once a month) don’t appeal. Nor does doing all the work by hand!

    Reply
  46. A fascinating piece with some little known information.
    you also disputed some information found in history books that describe London as getting water only from the Thames. I thought that there were still open sewers in 1800.
    Also new is the information that the water companies would ” supply every house plentifully with water, conducted by leaden pipes into kitchens or cellars, three times a week for the trifling expense of three shillings per quarter.”
    I didn’t know the water went to the houses. I had thought it only went to nearby pumps except for the rich.
    How many water companies were there by the Regency?
    Do you have a good reference? I’d love to know more.
    I wouldn’t think that people would have had much household waste as they didn’t have modern packaging, and there were rag and bone men to take away a lot of stuff.
    I had heard of the night soil men The modern men who clean cess pits have hoses and tanks and seldom need to get close to the matter.
    The men who did that work through the centuries weren’t paid enough.
    Did they have anything resembling toilet paper other than old rags, newspapers, and the pages of books by rival authors?

    Reply
  47. A fascinating piece with some little known information.
    you also disputed some information found in history books that describe London as getting water only from the Thames. I thought that there were still open sewers in 1800.
    Also new is the information that the water companies would ” supply every house plentifully with water, conducted by leaden pipes into kitchens or cellars, three times a week for the trifling expense of three shillings per quarter.”
    I didn’t know the water went to the houses. I had thought it only went to nearby pumps except for the rich.
    How many water companies were there by the Regency?
    Do you have a good reference? I’d love to know more.
    I wouldn’t think that people would have had much household waste as they didn’t have modern packaging, and there were rag and bone men to take away a lot of stuff.
    I had heard of the night soil men The modern men who clean cess pits have hoses and tanks and seldom need to get close to the matter.
    The men who did that work through the centuries weren’t paid enough.
    Did they have anything resembling toilet paper other than old rags, newspapers, and the pages of books by rival authors?

    Reply
  48. A fascinating piece with some little known information.
    you also disputed some information found in history books that describe London as getting water only from the Thames. I thought that there were still open sewers in 1800.
    Also new is the information that the water companies would ” supply every house plentifully with water, conducted by leaden pipes into kitchens or cellars, three times a week for the trifling expense of three shillings per quarter.”
    I didn’t know the water went to the houses. I had thought it only went to nearby pumps except for the rich.
    How many water companies were there by the Regency?
    Do you have a good reference? I’d love to know more.
    I wouldn’t think that people would have had much household waste as they didn’t have modern packaging, and there were rag and bone men to take away a lot of stuff.
    I had heard of the night soil men The modern men who clean cess pits have hoses and tanks and seldom need to get close to the matter.
    The men who did that work through the centuries weren’t paid enough.
    Did they have anything resembling toilet paper other than old rags, newspapers, and the pages of books by rival authors?

    Reply
  49. A fascinating piece with some little known information.
    you also disputed some information found in history books that describe London as getting water only from the Thames. I thought that there were still open sewers in 1800.
    Also new is the information that the water companies would ” supply every house plentifully with water, conducted by leaden pipes into kitchens or cellars, three times a week for the trifling expense of three shillings per quarter.”
    I didn’t know the water went to the houses. I had thought it only went to nearby pumps except for the rich.
    How many water companies were there by the Regency?
    Do you have a good reference? I’d love to know more.
    I wouldn’t think that people would have had much household waste as they didn’t have modern packaging, and there were rag and bone men to take away a lot of stuff.
    I had heard of the night soil men The modern men who clean cess pits have hoses and tanks and seldom need to get close to the matter.
    The men who did that work through the centuries weren’t paid enough.
    Did they have anything resembling toilet paper other than old rags, newspapers, and the pages of books by rival authors?

    Reply
  50. A fascinating piece with some little known information.
    you also disputed some information found in history books that describe London as getting water only from the Thames. I thought that there were still open sewers in 1800.
    Also new is the information that the water companies would ” supply every house plentifully with water, conducted by leaden pipes into kitchens or cellars, three times a week for the trifling expense of three shillings per quarter.”
    I didn’t know the water went to the houses. I had thought it only went to nearby pumps except for the rich.
    How many water companies were there by the Regency?
    Do you have a good reference? I’d love to know more.
    I wouldn’t think that people would have had much household waste as they didn’t have modern packaging, and there were rag and bone men to take away a lot of stuff.
    I had heard of the night soil men The modern men who clean cess pits have hoses and tanks and seldom need to get close to the matter.
    The men who did that work through the centuries weren’t paid enough.
    Did they have anything resembling toilet paper other than old rags, newspapers, and the pages of books by rival authors?

    Reply
  51. This is the kind of article I just love -knowing how people from the past solved their daily problems.
    Stories about water?
    Well, I remember that, when I was a little child, there was no water at home for certain hours each night. It was uncomfortable but it gave me a consciousness about the importance of not wasting the water. I hate it when my children open the tap and let the water run unconsciously. So I’m always saying ‘turn off the tap, running water is a luxury’.
    More stories.- There was a couple of times when, hiking in the mountains, I spent all the water and I had terrible thirst. Then you realise that you can have no food for days or weeks with no real problem, but you cannot be without water for more than a few hours.
    I guess that’s why I admire Romans so much. All those aqueducts, and fountains and baths.

    Reply
  52. This is the kind of article I just love -knowing how people from the past solved their daily problems.
    Stories about water?
    Well, I remember that, when I was a little child, there was no water at home for certain hours each night. It was uncomfortable but it gave me a consciousness about the importance of not wasting the water. I hate it when my children open the tap and let the water run unconsciously. So I’m always saying ‘turn off the tap, running water is a luxury’.
    More stories.- There was a couple of times when, hiking in the mountains, I spent all the water and I had terrible thirst. Then you realise that you can have no food for days or weeks with no real problem, but you cannot be without water for more than a few hours.
    I guess that’s why I admire Romans so much. All those aqueducts, and fountains and baths.

    Reply
  53. This is the kind of article I just love -knowing how people from the past solved their daily problems.
    Stories about water?
    Well, I remember that, when I was a little child, there was no water at home for certain hours each night. It was uncomfortable but it gave me a consciousness about the importance of not wasting the water. I hate it when my children open the tap and let the water run unconsciously. So I’m always saying ‘turn off the tap, running water is a luxury’.
    More stories.- There was a couple of times when, hiking in the mountains, I spent all the water and I had terrible thirst. Then you realise that you can have no food for days or weeks with no real problem, but you cannot be without water for more than a few hours.
    I guess that’s why I admire Romans so much. All those aqueducts, and fountains and baths.

    Reply
  54. This is the kind of article I just love -knowing how people from the past solved their daily problems.
    Stories about water?
    Well, I remember that, when I was a little child, there was no water at home for certain hours each night. It was uncomfortable but it gave me a consciousness about the importance of not wasting the water. I hate it when my children open the tap and let the water run unconsciously. So I’m always saying ‘turn off the tap, running water is a luxury’.
    More stories.- There was a couple of times when, hiking in the mountains, I spent all the water and I had terrible thirst. Then you realise that you can have no food for days or weeks with no real problem, but you cannot be without water for more than a few hours.
    I guess that’s why I admire Romans so much. All those aqueducts, and fountains and baths.

    Reply
  55. This is the kind of article I just love -knowing how people from the past solved their daily problems.
    Stories about water?
    Well, I remember that, when I was a little child, there was no water at home for certain hours each night. It was uncomfortable but it gave me a consciousness about the importance of not wasting the water. I hate it when my children open the tap and let the water run unconsciously. So I’m always saying ‘turn off the tap, running water is a luxury’.
    More stories.- There was a couple of times when, hiking in the mountains, I spent all the water and I had terrible thirst. Then you realise that you can have no food for days or weeks with no real problem, but you cannot be without water for more than a few hours.
    I guess that’s why I admire Romans so much. All those aqueducts, and fountains and baths.

    Reply
  56. In places that freeze you’ve got to allow for rather intense expansion, in the pipe material, freezing of the water within, and the soil surrounding the pipe. Even in Frost Fair years, London wouldn’t have had the same kind of thawing upheaval (“frost heaves”) that are a normal part of life in Montana.
    In the absence of cheap metal strapping, hemp rope is my guess for the best substitute. For quite a few cellulosic substances, especially larch, being constantly under water will extend the use life/postpone degradation for a LONG time. I have stubs of larch fence posts that surface every year for a few hours during the frost heaves in a line down my driveway (not paved, near the creek) and then sink down below ground by evening. The wood is rotten at the top where it has been exposed to air and nearly pristine where it has been deep enough to be in the water table.
    In London where they were using stopcocks and probably didn’t have full flow even in the mains all the time, there would have been enough air inside the pipes to speed degradation. Aren’t you glad they kept trying until they found plumbing solutions that work well?

    Reply
  57. In places that freeze you’ve got to allow for rather intense expansion, in the pipe material, freezing of the water within, and the soil surrounding the pipe. Even in Frost Fair years, London wouldn’t have had the same kind of thawing upheaval (“frost heaves”) that are a normal part of life in Montana.
    In the absence of cheap metal strapping, hemp rope is my guess for the best substitute. For quite a few cellulosic substances, especially larch, being constantly under water will extend the use life/postpone degradation for a LONG time. I have stubs of larch fence posts that surface every year for a few hours during the frost heaves in a line down my driveway (not paved, near the creek) and then sink down below ground by evening. The wood is rotten at the top where it has been exposed to air and nearly pristine where it has been deep enough to be in the water table.
    In London where they were using stopcocks and probably didn’t have full flow even in the mains all the time, there would have been enough air inside the pipes to speed degradation. Aren’t you glad they kept trying until they found plumbing solutions that work well?

    Reply
  58. In places that freeze you’ve got to allow for rather intense expansion, in the pipe material, freezing of the water within, and the soil surrounding the pipe. Even in Frost Fair years, London wouldn’t have had the same kind of thawing upheaval (“frost heaves”) that are a normal part of life in Montana.
    In the absence of cheap metal strapping, hemp rope is my guess for the best substitute. For quite a few cellulosic substances, especially larch, being constantly under water will extend the use life/postpone degradation for a LONG time. I have stubs of larch fence posts that surface every year for a few hours during the frost heaves in a line down my driveway (not paved, near the creek) and then sink down below ground by evening. The wood is rotten at the top where it has been exposed to air and nearly pristine where it has been deep enough to be in the water table.
    In London where they were using stopcocks and probably didn’t have full flow even in the mains all the time, there would have been enough air inside the pipes to speed degradation. Aren’t you glad they kept trying until they found plumbing solutions that work well?

    Reply
  59. In places that freeze you’ve got to allow for rather intense expansion, in the pipe material, freezing of the water within, and the soil surrounding the pipe. Even in Frost Fair years, London wouldn’t have had the same kind of thawing upheaval (“frost heaves”) that are a normal part of life in Montana.
    In the absence of cheap metal strapping, hemp rope is my guess for the best substitute. For quite a few cellulosic substances, especially larch, being constantly under water will extend the use life/postpone degradation for a LONG time. I have stubs of larch fence posts that surface every year for a few hours during the frost heaves in a line down my driveway (not paved, near the creek) and then sink down below ground by evening. The wood is rotten at the top where it has been exposed to air and nearly pristine where it has been deep enough to be in the water table.
    In London where they were using stopcocks and probably didn’t have full flow even in the mains all the time, there would have been enough air inside the pipes to speed degradation. Aren’t you glad they kept trying until they found plumbing solutions that work well?

    Reply
  60. In places that freeze you’ve got to allow for rather intense expansion, in the pipe material, freezing of the water within, and the soil surrounding the pipe. Even in Frost Fair years, London wouldn’t have had the same kind of thawing upheaval (“frost heaves”) that are a normal part of life in Montana.
    In the absence of cheap metal strapping, hemp rope is my guess for the best substitute. For quite a few cellulosic substances, especially larch, being constantly under water will extend the use life/postpone degradation for a LONG time. I have stubs of larch fence posts that surface every year for a few hours during the frost heaves in a line down my driveway (not paved, near the creek) and then sink down below ground by evening. The wood is rotten at the top where it has been exposed to air and nearly pristine where it has been deep enough to be in the water table.
    In London where they were using stopcocks and probably didn’t have full flow even in the mains all the time, there would have been enough air inside the pipes to speed degradation. Aren’t you glad they kept trying until they found plumbing solutions that work well?

    Reply
  61. Anne Perry’s book “Dark Assassin” is based on the installation of the sewer system in London. A very good read.
    Oh, and here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada we had such a long cold winter that the permafrost went down as much as 8 feet in places, causing the pipes to freeze. Some people have only just got their water running again after 6 or eight months!

    Reply
  62. Anne Perry’s book “Dark Assassin” is based on the installation of the sewer system in London. A very good read.
    Oh, and here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada we had such a long cold winter that the permafrost went down as much as 8 feet in places, causing the pipes to freeze. Some people have only just got their water running again after 6 or eight months!

    Reply
  63. Anne Perry’s book “Dark Assassin” is based on the installation of the sewer system in London. A very good read.
    Oh, and here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada we had such a long cold winter that the permafrost went down as much as 8 feet in places, causing the pipes to freeze. Some people have only just got their water running again after 6 or eight months!

    Reply
  64. Anne Perry’s book “Dark Assassin” is based on the installation of the sewer system in London. A very good read.
    Oh, and here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada we had such a long cold winter that the permafrost went down as much as 8 feet in places, causing the pipes to freeze. Some people have only just got their water running again after 6 or eight months!

    Reply
  65. Anne Perry’s book “Dark Assassin” is based on the installation of the sewer system in London. A very good read.
    Oh, and here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada we had such a long cold winter that the permafrost went down as much as 8 feet in places, causing the pipes to freeze. Some people have only just got their water running again after 6 or eight months!

    Reply
  66. Nicola, a fascinating post!
    A couple of years ago here in Baltimore, there was a water main break down in the city (aging infrastructure is a real issue), and a newspaper article mentioned that they found wooden pipes when they dug, probably dating back to the 19th century. I don’t think they were the ones that burst. I wonder if they were Western Larch, like Sylvia said was used in her area?
    I grew up on a farm in western New York, and in droughts, the well would dry up and my father would fill big milk cans (40 gallons, maybe?) at the house of a neighbor with a deeper well. I’m another big fan of modern plumbing.

    Reply
  67. Nicola, a fascinating post!
    A couple of years ago here in Baltimore, there was a water main break down in the city (aging infrastructure is a real issue), and a newspaper article mentioned that they found wooden pipes when they dug, probably dating back to the 19th century. I don’t think they were the ones that burst. I wonder if they were Western Larch, like Sylvia said was used in her area?
    I grew up on a farm in western New York, and in droughts, the well would dry up and my father would fill big milk cans (40 gallons, maybe?) at the house of a neighbor with a deeper well. I’m another big fan of modern plumbing.

    Reply
  68. Nicola, a fascinating post!
    A couple of years ago here in Baltimore, there was a water main break down in the city (aging infrastructure is a real issue), and a newspaper article mentioned that they found wooden pipes when they dug, probably dating back to the 19th century. I don’t think they were the ones that burst. I wonder if they were Western Larch, like Sylvia said was used in her area?
    I grew up on a farm in western New York, and in droughts, the well would dry up and my father would fill big milk cans (40 gallons, maybe?) at the house of a neighbor with a deeper well. I’m another big fan of modern plumbing.

    Reply
  69. Nicola, a fascinating post!
    A couple of years ago here in Baltimore, there was a water main break down in the city (aging infrastructure is a real issue), and a newspaper article mentioned that they found wooden pipes when they dug, probably dating back to the 19th century. I don’t think they were the ones that burst. I wonder if they were Western Larch, like Sylvia said was used in her area?
    I grew up on a farm in western New York, and in droughts, the well would dry up and my father would fill big milk cans (40 gallons, maybe?) at the house of a neighbor with a deeper well. I’m another big fan of modern plumbing.

    Reply
  70. Nicola, a fascinating post!
    A couple of years ago here in Baltimore, there was a water main break down in the city (aging infrastructure is a real issue), and a newspaper article mentioned that they found wooden pipes when they dug, probably dating back to the 19th century. I don’t think they were the ones that burst. I wonder if they were Western Larch, like Sylvia said was used in her area?
    I grew up on a farm in western New York, and in droughts, the well would dry up and my father would fill big milk cans (40 gallons, maybe?) at the house of a neighbor with a deeper well. I’m another big fan of modern plumbing.

    Reply
  71. Wonderful post, at just the right time for me: next week I’m giving a pop talk on the London sewerage system, which has long fascinated me. Glad to have the Dark Assassin reference, just d/l’d it (and will spend the rest of the weekend reading it, no doubt).
    A good read about about the London sewers before the “new” system is Dodger, by Terry Prachett, a fascinating tale about a “tosher” (one who toshes/is “on the tosh,” i.e., scavenging in the London sewers) who made good via a Forrest Gump-ish story of coincidental good luck, mostly involving Charles Dickens and a cast of other Victorian figures you’ll recognize.

    Reply
  72. Wonderful post, at just the right time for me: next week I’m giving a pop talk on the London sewerage system, which has long fascinated me. Glad to have the Dark Assassin reference, just d/l’d it (and will spend the rest of the weekend reading it, no doubt).
    A good read about about the London sewers before the “new” system is Dodger, by Terry Prachett, a fascinating tale about a “tosher” (one who toshes/is “on the tosh,” i.e., scavenging in the London sewers) who made good via a Forrest Gump-ish story of coincidental good luck, mostly involving Charles Dickens and a cast of other Victorian figures you’ll recognize.

    Reply
  73. Wonderful post, at just the right time for me: next week I’m giving a pop talk on the London sewerage system, which has long fascinated me. Glad to have the Dark Assassin reference, just d/l’d it (and will spend the rest of the weekend reading it, no doubt).
    A good read about about the London sewers before the “new” system is Dodger, by Terry Prachett, a fascinating tale about a “tosher” (one who toshes/is “on the tosh,” i.e., scavenging in the London sewers) who made good via a Forrest Gump-ish story of coincidental good luck, mostly involving Charles Dickens and a cast of other Victorian figures you’ll recognize.

    Reply
  74. Wonderful post, at just the right time for me: next week I’m giving a pop talk on the London sewerage system, which has long fascinated me. Glad to have the Dark Assassin reference, just d/l’d it (and will spend the rest of the weekend reading it, no doubt).
    A good read about about the London sewers before the “new” system is Dodger, by Terry Prachett, a fascinating tale about a “tosher” (one who toshes/is “on the tosh,” i.e., scavenging in the London sewers) who made good via a Forrest Gump-ish story of coincidental good luck, mostly involving Charles Dickens and a cast of other Victorian figures you’ll recognize.

    Reply
  75. Wonderful post, at just the right time for me: next week I’m giving a pop talk on the London sewerage system, which has long fascinated me. Glad to have the Dark Assassin reference, just d/l’d it (and will spend the rest of the weekend reading it, no doubt).
    A good read about about the London sewers before the “new” system is Dodger, by Terry Prachett, a fascinating tale about a “tosher” (one who toshes/is “on the tosh,” i.e., scavenging in the London sewers) who made good via a Forrest Gump-ish story of coincidental good luck, mostly involving Charles Dickens and a cast of other Victorian figures you’ll recognize.

    Reply
  76. Hi Bona
    Yes, I too am a huge fan of the Roman efficiency in the use of water. Such a skilled system which I suppose was very important in all the hot countries they governed. Once they conquered Britain they were probably overwhelmed by the amount of water falling from above!

    Reply
  77. Hi Bona
    Yes, I too am a huge fan of the Roman efficiency in the use of water. Such a skilled system which I suppose was very important in all the hot countries they governed. Once they conquered Britain they were probably overwhelmed by the amount of water falling from above!

    Reply
  78. Hi Bona
    Yes, I too am a huge fan of the Roman efficiency in the use of water. Such a skilled system which I suppose was very important in all the hot countries they governed. Once they conquered Britain they were probably overwhelmed by the amount of water falling from above!

    Reply
  79. Hi Bona
    Yes, I too am a huge fan of the Roman efficiency in the use of water. Such a skilled system which I suppose was very important in all the hot countries they governed. Once they conquered Britain they were probably overwhelmed by the amount of water falling from above!

    Reply
  80. Hi Bona
    Yes, I too am a huge fan of the Roman efficiency in the use of water. Such a skilled system which I suppose was very important in all the hot countries they governed. Once they conquered Britain they were probably overwhelmed by the amount of water falling from above!

    Reply
  81. Thanks, Mary Jo! I imagine that a lot of places are still dependent of wells and that really does make you appreciate the value of water. Around here all the wells are fed by springs, many of which dry up in the summer. Even at Ashdown House there was no mains water or proper plumbing until the 1940s and we have the American troops to thank for that. Apparently it was the first thing they organised when they were billeted there in WWII!

    Reply
  82. Thanks, Mary Jo! I imagine that a lot of places are still dependent of wells and that really does make you appreciate the value of water. Around here all the wells are fed by springs, many of which dry up in the summer. Even at Ashdown House there was no mains water or proper plumbing until the 1940s and we have the American troops to thank for that. Apparently it was the first thing they organised when they were billeted there in WWII!

    Reply
  83. Thanks, Mary Jo! I imagine that a lot of places are still dependent of wells and that really does make you appreciate the value of water. Around here all the wells are fed by springs, many of which dry up in the summer. Even at Ashdown House there was no mains water or proper plumbing until the 1940s and we have the American troops to thank for that. Apparently it was the first thing they organised when they were billeted there in WWII!

    Reply
  84. Thanks, Mary Jo! I imagine that a lot of places are still dependent of wells and that really does make you appreciate the value of water. Around here all the wells are fed by springs, many of which dry up in the summer. Even at Ashdown House there was no mains water or proper plumbing until the 1940s and we have the American troops to thank for that. Apparently it was the first thing they organised when they were billeted there in WWII!

    Reply
  85. Thanks, Mary Jo! I imagine that a lot of places are still dependent of wells and that really does make you appreciate the value of water. Around here all the wells are fed by springs, many of which dry up in the summer. Even at Ashdown House there was no mains water or proper plumbing until the 1940s and we have the American troops to thank for that. Apparently it was the first thing they organised when they were billeted there in WWII!

    Reply
  86. Hi Nancy. Certainly I think that a great deal of London’s water was taken from the Thames but not all. The water piped from the country was prized for its better quality.
    Liza Picard’s book Dr Johnson’s London gives some information on the water companies in the 18th century. I’m not sure how many there were by the Regency period. There is also an excellent article called “The New River” from the journal London Historians. It’s a pdf file but if you search on New River Islington it should come up.
    I don’t know about custom made toilet paper as opposed to old rags or the pages of books (!) I will see what I can find out!

    Reply
  87. Hi Nancy. Certainly I think that a great deal of London’s water was taken from the Thames but not all. The water piped from the country was prized for its better quality.
    Liza Picard’s book Dr Johnson’s London gives some information on the water companies in the 18th century. I’m not sure how many there were by the Regency period. There is also an excellent article called “The New River” from the journal London Historians. It’s a pdf file but if you search on New River Islington it should come up.
    I don’t know about custom made toilet paper as opposed to old rags or the pages of books (!) I will see what I can find out!

    Reply
  88. Hi Nancy. Certainly I think that a great deal of London’s water was taken from the Thames but not all. The water piped from the country was prized for its better quality.
    Liza Picard’s book Dr Johnson’s London gives some information on the water companies in the 18th century. I’m not sure how many there were by the Regency period. There is also an excellent article called “The New River” from the journal London Historians. It’s a pdf file but if you search on New River Islington it should come up.
    I don’t know about custom made toilet paper as opposed to old rags or the pages of books (!) I will see what I can find out!

    Reply
  89. Hi Nancy. Certainly I think that a great deal of London’s water was taken from the Thames but not all. The water piped from the country was prized for its better quality.
    Liza Picard’s book Dr Johnson’s London gives some information on the water companies in the 18th century. I’m not sure how many there were by the Regency period. There is also an excellent article called “The New River” from the journal London Historians. It’s a pdf file but if you search on New River Islington it should come up.
    I don’t know about custom made toilet paper as opposed to old rags or the pages of books (!) I will see what I can find out!

    Reply
  90. Hi Nancy. Certainly I think that a great deal of London’s water was taken from the Thames but not all. The water piped from the country was prized for its better quality.
    Liza Picard’s book Dr Johnson’s London gives some information on the water companies in the 18th century. I’m not sure how many there were by the Regency period. There is also an excellent article called “The New River” from the journal London Historians. It’s a pdf file but if you search on New River Islington it should come up.
    I don’t know about custom made toilet paper as opposed to old rags or the pages of books (!) I will see what I can find out!

    Reply
  91. A fellow pilgrim! I joke. I grew up almost literally 100 miles from nowhere in the Idaho mountains. We had no indoor water, no indoor toilets, and no electricity until I was about 17 years old. I used to run out to the outhouse in my bare feet in the winter because the call was urgent, no time for shoes or boots! We often had to break the ice on the spring or creek to get water in the winter. And water for any use was carried one bucket at a time, usually by me and my siblings. We didn’t think about it, that’s the way it was for everyone we knew. It was just life.

    Reply
  92. A fellow pilgrim! I joke. I grew up almost literally 100 miles from nowhere in the Idaho mountains. We had no indoor water, no indoor toilets, and no electricity until I was about 17 years old. I used to run out to the outhouse in my bare feet in the winter because the call was urgent, no time for shoes or boots! We often had to break the ice on the spring or creek to get water in the winter. And water for any use was carried one bucket at a time, usually by me and my siblings. We didn’t think about it, that’s the way it was for everyone we knew. It was just life.

    Reply
  93. A fellow pilgrim! I joke. I grew up almost literally 100 miles from nowhere in the Idaho mountains. We had no indoor water, no indoor toilets, and no electricity until I was about 17 years old. I used to run out to the outhouse in my bare feet in the winter because the call was urgent, no time for shoes or boots! We often had to break the ice on the spring or creek to get water in the winter. And water for any use was carried one bucket at a time, usually by me and my siblings. We didn’t think about it, that’s the way it was for everyone we knew. It was just life.

    Reply
  94. A fellow pilgrim! I joke. I grew up almost literally 100 miles from nowhere in the Idaho mountains. We had no indoor water, no indoor toilets, and no electricity until I was about 17 years old. I used to run out to the outhouse in my bare feet in the winter because the call was urgent, no time for shoes or boots! We often had to break the ice on the spring or creek to get water in the winter. And water for any use was carried one bucket at a time, usually by me and my siblings. We didn’t think about it, that’s the way it was for everyone we knew. It was just life.

    Reply
  95. A fellow pilgrim! I joke. I grew up almost literally 100 miles from nowhere in the Idaho mountains. We had no indoor water, no indoor toilets, and no electricity until I was about 17 years old. I used to run out to the outhouse in my bare feet in the winter because the call was urgent, no time for shoes or boots! We often had to break the ice on the spring or creek to get water in the winter. And water for any use was carried one bucket at a time, usually by me and my siblings. We didn’t think about it, that’s the way it was for everyone we knew. It was just life.

    Reply
  96. This was very interesting! Thank you! Having been the City Clerk for two very small towns in the state of Washington, I learned first hand how difficult and expensive it can be to supply water and sewer to the inhabitants. We all tend to take these things for granted now, seldom think twice about what’s involved in providing these services, and feel justified in griping about how much it costs us. And heaven forbid if it has to be turned off now and then for upgrades or repairs! We are all so incredibly human aren’t we? When I think about the looming potable water crisis worldwide, I thank my stars every day that I have wonderful water that needs no treatment and comes right out my kitchen faucet or my shower. No buckets! No ice! No worries! Thank you oh mighty Water Wench!

    Reply
  97. This was very interesting! Thank you! Having been the City Clerk for two very small towns in the state of Washington, I learned first hand how difficult and expensive it can be to supply water and sewer to the inhabitants. We all tend to take these things for granted now, seldom think twice about what’s involved in providing these services, and feel justified in griping about how much it costs us. And heaven forbid if it has to be turned off now and then for upgrades or repairs! We are all so incredibly human aren’t we? When I think about the looming potable water crisis worldwide, I thank my stars every day that I have wonderful water that needs no treatment and comes right out my kitchen faucet or my shower. No buckets! No ice! No worries! Thank you oh mighty Water Wench!

    Reply
  98. This was very interesting! Thank you! Having been the City Clerk for two very small towns in the state of Washington, I learned first hand how difficult and expensive it can be to supply water and sewer to the inhabitants. We all tend to take these things for granted now, seldom think twice about what’s involved in providing these services, and feel justified in griping about how much it costs us. And heaven forbid if it has to be turned off now and then for upgrades or repairs! We are all so incredibly human aren’t we? When I think about the looming potable water crisis worldwide, I thank my stars every day that I have wonderful water that needs no treatment and comes right out my kitchen faucet or my shower. No buckets! No ice! No worries! Thank you oh mighty Water Wench!

    Reply
  99. This was very interesting! Thank you! Having been the City Clerk for two very small towns in the state of Washington, I learned first hand how difficult and expensive it can be to supply water and sewer to the inhabitants. We all tend to take these things for granted now, seldom think twice about what’s involved in providing these services, and feel justified in griping about how much it costs us. And heaven forbid if it has to be turned off now and then for upgrades or repairs! We are all so incredibly human aren’t we? When I think about the looming potable water crisis worldwide, I thank my stars every day that I have wonderful water that needs no treatment and comes right out my kitchen faucet or my shower. No buckets! No ice! No worries! Thank you oh mighty Water Wench!

    Reply
  100. This was very interesting! Thank you! Having been the City Clerk for two very small towns in the state of Washington, I learned first hand how difficult and expensive it can be to supply water and sewer to the inhabitants. We all tend to take these things for granted now, seldom think twice about what’s involved in providing these services, and feel justified in griping about how much it costs us. And heaven forbid if it has to be turned off now and then for upgrades or repairs! We are all so incredibly human aren’t we? When I think about the looming potable water crisis worldwide, I thank my stars every day that I have wonderful water that needs no treatment and comes right out my kitchen faucet or my shower. No buckets! No ice! No worries! Thank you oh mighty Water Wench!

    Reply
  101. In the mountains of Idaho during my childhood, I remember the Sears Roebuck catalogs in most of the outdoor priveys. On a warm day, I would sit and look through the catalogs and dream away! Most folks sprinkled lime in these toilets every day to keep down the smell and insects. And of course that was where we went when we had sneaked one of our dad’s cigarettes. Many memories!

    Reply
  102. In the mountains of Idaho during my childhood, I remember the Sears Roebuck catalogs in most of the outdoor priveys. On a warm day, I would sit and look through the catalogs and dream away! Most folks sprinkled lime in these toilets every day to keep down the smell and insects. And of course that was where we went when we had sneaked one of our dad’s cigarettes. Many memories!

    Reply
  103. In the mountains of Idaho during my childhood, I remember the Sears Roebuck catalogs in most of the outdoor priveys. On a warm day, I would sit and look through the catalogs and dream away! Most folks sprinkled lime in these toilets every day to keep down the smell and insects. And of course that was where we went when we had sneaked one of our dad’s cigarettes. Many memories!

    Reply
  104. In the mountains of Idaho during my childhood, I remember the Sears Roebuck catalogs in most of the outdoor priveys. On a warm day, I would sit and look through the catalogs and dream away! Most folks sprinkled lime in these toilets every day to keep down the smell and insects. And of course that was where we went when we had sneaked one of our dad’s cigarettes. Many memories!

    Reply
  105. In the mountains of Idaho during my childhood, I remember the Sears Roebuck catalogs in most of the outdoor priveys. On a warm day, I would sit and look through the catalogs and dream away! Most folks sprinkled lime in these toilets every day to keep down the smell and insects. And of course that was where we went when we had sneaked one of our dad’s cigarettes. Many memories!

    Reply

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