Essay On Roman Sanitation

742 Words 3 Pages
The Roman empire saw great innovations and architectural masterpieces in modern sanitation. They built complex aqueducts and drainage systems along with the cloaca maxima. However despite these great innovations, their sanitation was still something to be desired; waste filled the streets and public restrooms held their own hazards. All the more, Roman sanitation held a great impact on paving the way for the start of modern sanitation. The Romans used a series of channels that ran from springs or reservoirs to supply cities with water. Known as aqueducts, the channels were built from stone, brick or concrete and the system relied on gravity by being built with a slight downward gradient to maintain a continuous flow (Crystal). Only 5% of the aqueducts were above the surface to limit the access of enemies being able to reach their water …show more content…
However this rarely happened. Most private houses had one-seater toilets that drained into a nearby cesspool. The waste was then collected and sold to farmers as fertilizer or would be used in the household garden. However, the drainpipes leading to these cesspools would often leak and human waste would ooze through the walls of the home (Koloski-Ostrow). An alternative for households was the use of a chamber pot. Users would relieve themselves in pots that were then thrown into the streets (Schladweiler). Therefore, the Roman streets left something to be desired. Koloski-Ostrow states, “The streets of a Roman city would have been cluttered with dung, vomit, pee, shit, garbage, filthy water, rotting vegetables, animal skins and guts, and other refuse from various shops that lined the sidewalks.” For this reason the Romans used the aqueducts to supply a constant flow of water through trenches in the streets. These trenches would help wash away the filth to reduce the amount of bile buildup the streets saw

Related Documents