Plumbing has been with us since the earliest days of the Roman empire. It is the mark of civilization. The Romans were powerful in part because of their aqueducts, massive sewers, and the lead pipes from which plumbing draws its name (lead in Latin is "plumbum").
When a civilization grows, the growth of its water infrastructure has to come along with it or else it all falls apart. Joseph Bazalgette built the sewers of London, diverting rivers into pipes that took the water to the mouth of the Thames and out to sea, a huge improvement over the old paradigm of people using chamber pots and dumping them into the streets. With plumbing comes the health of a society, jobs, and engineering feats at which we still marvel.
Today, plumbing is much more than just installing toilets or water mains. Plumbing also covers gas pipes, which means that plumbing emergencies can be messy, or dangerous, or both. Plumbers aren't regular workmen. Their job is as technical as an electrician's and as crucial to the survival of a building as the work of a bricklayer. Plumbers have to be good with their hands, but they also need to be intelligent and detail oriented, or things can go badly very fast. Could you pass one of their certification exams? Take the quiz and let's find out!