Wastewater treatment systems have a long history that goes back centuries. As soon as the first organized settlements appeared, people needed to provide themselves with amenities and get rid of waste. First, cesspools and gutters appeared, and later cities began to be equipped with more complex sewage systems.
From the history of sewerage
Several centuries before the onset of a new era, in many cities of the Ancient World, there were specially arranged sewers for the removal of sewage. They were often dug right along the city streets. The ditches provided not only the discharge of liquid waste, but also played the role of storm sewers. Such structures were found in the Assyrian Empire and in Ancient Greece.
Of course, the gutters were very uncomfortable, since the stench from them spread over a long distance.
The inhabitants of Ancient Rome were distinguished by a special craving for hygiene and cleanliness. The Romans were proud of the constant improvement measures were taken in their city. The systems for the delivery of clean water and wastewater disposal, perfect for those times, appeared here. In the IV century BC, the city authorities conceived to arrange a full-fledged city sewage system in Rome, which later received the name "Cloaca Maxima". Researchers believe that this was the first experience of building a unified urban sewer system.
In fact, the Cloaca Maxima was only part of an extensive canal system designed to drain the lowlands between the Roman hills. The largest channel had a width of about three meters, a height of about four meters, was lined with stone and reinforced with stone vaults.
Designed to drain the lowlands, the canal very soon began to be used to drain rainwater and sewage outside the city limits.
The channel was a little less than a kilometer long. It is believed that it was built using technology borrowed from the Etruscans. Initially, part of the sewerage artery was open. Stone vaults and wooden decks appeared only later. Subsequently, new gutters were built in Rome. Part of the waste water was discharged directly into the Tiber River, and part of the wastewater flowed to the Cloaca via branches. The sewerage system of the city was gradually expanded and improved.
Alas, over time, the art and culture of the construction of sewage facilities was temporarily lost after the invasion of the barbarians. For centuries, in the cities of medieval Europe, sewage and slop were poured onto city streets directly from windows. One can imagine how frightened townspeople shied to the sides, dodging the foul-smelling streams. It is not surprising that in those days infectious diseases were very common, many of which led to large-scale epidemics that claimed thousands of lives.