A historical perspective on the development of urban water systems

William James

Professor of Water Resources Engineering
University of Guelph,
Guelph, Ontario, Canada. N1G2W1

Updated 1998-04-16; and continuously growing - bits added whenever I give this lecture.
My live lecture is accompanied by a large collection of overhead transparencies and 35 mm colour slides. It takes too much time to scan them in all at once. They cover the effects of population on water and pollution, and of water on population (which combined interaction for a gimmick I call "populution" herein). For various reasons, the Rose-Red City of Petra, and the provision of sanitary water conditions in Hamilton ON are covered in more detail. Students follow the lecture (part of 05-437 Design of Urban Water Systems) on their individual computers. It precedes lectures on Land Development and  on Aesthetics of Water Infrastructure.

Contents Only the hyperlinked items have material

  1. Introduction:
  2. Read from Treatise on Water-works
  3. History of Water Supply:
    1. Prehistory.
    2. Roman systems.
    3. The Rose-red City of Petra.
    4. Europe.
    5. U.S.A.
    6. Canada.
    7. Arctic.
    8. Hamilton and Ontario.
    9. Bangladesh today.
  4. History of Urban Drainage:
    1. Europe. search for URLs on:
         London sewers
         Paris sewers
    2. U.S.A.
    3. Canada and Ontario.
  5. Benefits of advances in metallurgy and materials science.
  6. Links to info on population and drinking water.
  7. Conclusion.
  8. Notes.
  9. Readings.
  10. Other links.


This website provides an individual perspective, in other words a viewpoint of history coloured by my personal experience. To glean an idea of the limitations of that experience, you are welcome to review my home pages by clicking on the author name above.

I usually start the course by announcing the global human population at the beginning and end of my first lecture, and estimate the size of city required to accommodate the net increase at the end of the course. I usually start this lecture by reading from the first general engineering reference book on how to design water supplies, written in 1835 by an American engineer who was born in Montreal. In fact I find that considerable information is available on the evolution of water supplies, but much less is known about early wastewater collection (sewerage) and urban stormwater drainage systems. They are of course related; sanitary sewers follow water supplies within a decade or so, and in regions of water scarcity, surface water collection forms part of the water supply. However, one would not know that from history books, which are expansive about water supply but silent on sewers.

As you read through these pages bear in mind a few other salient points...

  1. Water supply engineering is a historic and noble profession: wherever people fight for water, or their water is inadequate or polluted, or they spend effort and time collecting it, or returning their waste products to the environment, life is harsh and there is little art. Engineers provide the means for an enlightened life, a point not often appreciated (try reminding your companion of it next time you visit the ballet)!
  2. Improvements in water supply mirror advances in engineering materials: Improvements in water supply and drainage have largely followed advances in engineering materials used in pipes, pumps and for water storage. Engineering indeed is the essential agent.
  3. Low-quality water systems exist today that echo earlier systems in the developed world: in the developing world and even in Canada's arctic frontier, urban systems exist that barely meet health standards. A question to be asked is: how did our pioneers (who were certainly penniless) build without borrowing money from global money lending agencies? Answers may relate to social conditions - control of corruption, empowerment of women and so on.
  4. World's number one, long-term, serious and perhaps irreversible problem is loss of habitat: (not acid rain, CSO's, loss of ozone or global warming, all of which are readily reversible). Loss of habitat and loss of bio-diversity, like all environmental problems, are universally caused by human population numbers and density, which all societies appear to be powerless to reverse.
  5. Human population growth is spurred by copious wholesome water: water supply and water pollution control are the most significant factors allowing population increase (not e.g. medicine, habitation, jobs or agriculture). Separation of potable from contaminated water, in a phrase, is what we do so well.
  6. Sustainable populations and activities are difficult to design and build: thinking about water demand, pollution control, water supply and sewer design procedures, and interdependence of the two urban water subsystems, and their dependence on non-local, non-renewable (imported) water and energy sources, leads us to the sobering conclusions that:
    • the only proven sustainable system is the natural system with its infinite complexities, and
    • we the water resources engineers are indeed the unwitting, primary agents in the long-term, inexorable destruction of the world.
  7. High-tech solutions have applications: though not immediately obvious, the Trans-Alaska pipeline, high arctic distribution systems, and computer-controlled systems, for instance, point to ways to help make our water usage less unsustainable.
  8. Engineers above all need to study this history: becoming wiser about the impacts of what we do, might just help to save the world. It should save us from making the same old mistakes again and again.

Some dates

4000BC water supply tunnels in Middle East
2000BC water purification in Egypt and Iraq
they learn the benefits of filtration
312 BC
Roman aqueducts built (Aqua Appia, 18 km)
they learn that lead in water is toxic
300 BC storage cisterns used in cities (e.g. Istanbul)
1100 AD polluted water supplies in Europe = plagues
1183 Paris aqueduct built
1235 London makes same mistake as Romans,
uses lead pipes
1619 London provides house connections
1804 Sand filters used in Scotland,
4 millenia after Mesopotamia
1835 Charles Storrow writes Treatise on Water-works
1850s polluted water again = major cholera outbreaks
1860 Hamilton water works
1890 chlorine disinfection
1993 cryptosporidium infects 400000, Milwaukee

Public water supplies in gallons per capita-day

  50BC AD100 1823 1830 1835 1936
Rome 198 300   250   150
Paris     3      
London     3   10 35.5
Edinburgh         7.5 52
Leipzig           20
Frankfort           40
Munich           55
New York           120

Compare: Guelph residents in 1998 consumed 300L (about 80 US gals) each per day.

History of Water Supply

Click on the thumbnail to get a large image, then hit "back".


Evidence of activity concerned with human health and water supply has been found in civilizations throughout human history (Rosen, undated). Sites excavated in the Indus Valley and in Punjab show that bathrooms and drains were common in Indian cities 4 millennia ago. Streets were drained by covered sewers 2 ft. deep and made of moulded bricks cemented with a mortar of mud. Within the houses, drain pipes were made of pottery embedded in gypsum (Rosen). Even two millennia BC, the Greeks and Egyptians had adequate supplies of drinking water for their cities, drained streets, had bathrooms in their houses, and, in Crete, water flushing arrangements for toilets. The Incas also had impressive sewerage systems and baths (but I have no illustrations of them yet).


The first aqueducts in the form of tunnels or "qanats" originated in ancient Persia (Iran) probably as early as the fourth millennium B.C. Their purpose was to bring water from the foothills of the northern mountains to the southern plains region for irrigation and domestic use. This photo was taken in 1990 in the deserted village of Tanuf in Oman.
The qanat is essentially a tunnel constructed for the conveyance of water from an underground aquifer to a point at ground surface some distance away. The water source is the tunnel which reaches down and into the water table. The other shafts provide ventilation and give access for cleaning and repair of the conduit tunnel below.
Lines of qanats leading to Firuzabad in Iran. As recently as 1933 all of Tehran's water came from qanats. This picture and the next five were taken from the National Geographical Society book the Builders - marvels of engineering pub. by the NGS (1992) (the book contains neat illustrations for showing off the history of engineering construction, especially bridges). I have only made a few rather poor small illustrations here to point you to the original source.
Qanats carry an average of 105 gallons/d.

Early hydro-power:

Roman style noria or waterwheel in Syria uses hydro-power.
(For your amusement, an artist's whimsical ideas about a 12th century method of increasing hydro-power train by 1.0 ox-power, for a water bucket elevator for water supply.)

A simple manual displacement pump:

Construction and use of an Archimedes' screw, widely used by Romans, and in sewage treatment plants today.

Earthenware or stone pipes were very early preferred for small quantities of water and for drains. Such pipes were used in the Indus cities before 1500 B.C., and the earthenware pipes of some Mesopotamian cities of comparable date are still in working order. Open terracotta conduits were first used on the mainland of Greece by Mycenaeans, though the Creteans had covered their ducts to avoid the accumulation of silt. The Greeks made their earthenware pipes in curved sections as well as straight, and of tapering shape so that each fitted into the next. This method was adopted by the Romans. In the sixth century B.C. the city of Athens was served by two aqueducts terminating in a reservoir from which water was distributed to the city, initially by a stone masonry channel, and later by pipes of earthenware and lead materials.

Very ancient metal pipes are known to have been used in Egypt. They were of hammered copper 1.4 mm thick. These pipes were cemented into grooves cut in solid flagstones.


As sanitary engineers, the Romans set a great example and left their mark in history. A public water supply was considered a basic essential of civic life (Rosen). They had well-developed water supply systems, and their standards of engineering sanitation were not matched again in Europe and N. America until the 19th century. Studies show that Rome's water supplies exceeded 40 gallons per head per day, and was supplied to public baths, fountains and other public structures, as well as private houses. At their peak they were able to provide an estimated 300 gallons per head per day. Their aqueducts and cisterns can be seen all over Europe, and were frequently copied in medieval times. The elaborate water supply systems of Roman times were remarkably successful, considering that there was little recorded knowledge of the strength of materials, and that the equations used today (such as Manning, Chezy, and Darcy) were not around until the 18th century. Essentially similar ancient aqueducts and waterworks dating from the Spanish colonial period can be seen in Mexico today.
A typical layout is shown here. An aqueduct carried water from the source to a principal reservoir. A channel conveyed water to the city reservoir or "castellum" (little castle). Three pipes of equal diameter would lead to 3 cisterns. Overflow from the outer cisterns would be directed to the central cistern. One cistern supplied the public baths, another would supply private houses, and the central cistern supplied pools and fountains.

Their public water supply did not cover use by private users, but leading citizens managed to have lines run to their houses. Rules forbade private water for everyone else. Other Romans bribed the water officials to run pipes to their houses or secretly bored holes into the water channels and tanks and laid their own pipes.

RomanClayPipesPafos01ThumbNail.JPG (5410 bytes)  A huge collection of Roman-era clay water supply pipes, in a museum in Pafos, Cyprus.

RomanClayPipesPafosWJ02ThumbNail.JPG (7185 bytes) You-know-who gets to check the 2-millenia-old fit, spigot to socket.

Contemporary written accounts of great detail are available on the water system for Rome. The Roman aqueducts were distinguished from the earlier ones mainly by their size and number. When Rome's aqueducts were nearly completed in the early Principate, all the aqueducts together totalled about 260 miles, of which only 30 were on arches. The first was built in 312 B.C. The Cloaca maxima (main drain) still forms part of the drainage system of modern Rome.

The black and white pen drawings of Roman city water systems below have been taken from a charming book City. A story of Roman planning and construction by David Macaulay, pub by Houghton 1974 ISBN 0-395-19492-X, which you should consult, because my illustrations here are deliberately chosen to avoid copyright problems, by indicating only what is available in the book. Similarly, the color paintings and photos are from the Builders - marvels of engineering by the National geographic Society (1992), cited above.

Roman aqueducts were long, mostly laid at grade (gravitational flow) and involved complicated security measures.
Artist's impression of multi-level aqueducts supplying Rome - note the construction gang, lower right.
This is a modern copy: 19th century from Malaga in Spain.
This is the Pont Du Gard in France (19 BC).

Several illustrations of Roman public toilets.

Roman cities had regular systems of drains running under the streets carrying stormwater and sewage.

Besides wood, pottery and lead pipes were the most widely used in the Middle ages. Properly sealed earthenware pipes can work at pressures of up to 50 atmospheres and are strengthened by embedding in concrete, as was the Roman practice. Pipes of lead and bronze were employed by the Greeks but the most extensive use of lead pipes for the local distribution of water came with the Romans, though they were well aware of the danger of lead poisoning. Strips were cut from cast sheets about ten feet wide, bent around a wooden former and joined by solder. The ratio of tin to lead in the solder was carefully defined but leaks often occurred. The lead pipes of the Roman water-board are notable as the first known series of industrial products to be standardised.

Bronze pipes conveyed water from the mainland to the Phoenician island-city of Tyre. Bronze pipes were too costly for common use, but are occasionally found in the villas of the wealthy in Room, Pompeii, and Baiae.


In prehistoric Europe blank channels or hollow trunks formed the basic unit for conduits. In medieval Europe, the most urgent task was also to provide an adequate supply of good water, using cisterns, natural springs, and dug wells, practices still of course in use today in undeveloped areas.

Water from the mineral water spring at St. Moritz was conveyed in two lines of large hollow tree-trunks. Wooden pipes were also used by the Romans who sometimes applied iron collars to strengthen the joints. Wooden pipes were usually about 6 m long and 8 to 12 cm in diameter. Such medieval water-mains could withstand pressures up to 3.5 atmospheres. Special machines for boring these were devised. The most common wood for the purpose was elm.

Stone water courses, aqueducts, and wooden pipes were used in the 13th century. With few exception, the urban dwellers of medieval times were compelled to draw their water from centrally located Mountains or cisterns, or purchased water from authorized water carriers. Usually, pipes carried water to cisterns in the town at street intersections. People obtained their water from cisterns housed in very ornate and elaborate structures called the "Conduit".

Lead pipes were used in the 15th century, although the Romans were well aware of the health consequences more than 1.5 millennia earlier.
Usually, pipes carried water to cisterns in the town at street intersections. A constant problem was separation of wastes from the water supply, and regulations regarding offal and refuse abound. A great deal more refuse and dead animals accumulated in a medieval house than do in a modem one (Rosen). From the 14th century on, stringent city regulations controlled cesspools in the streets and elsewhere, and householders were required to sweep the streets regularly, e.g. twice a week.

By the 16th century, in many towns the people were required to carry all waste and refuse to a few selected places outside the town. Butchers and fishmongers were also forbidden to throw offal polluted the streets with excreta were punished, and animals, especially swine, were not permitted to roam village streets. In Shakespeare's time, the officials who supervised the "rakers" (who actually did the work), were called "scavengers", equivalent to petty magistrates, according Dr. Johnson.
During the 17th century, companies started to pump water to reservoirs from which it was piped to private homes. Great improvements in cast iron founding made it economically possible to use that material for water mains, and cast-iron water mains had become standard practice by the middle of the nineteenth century. As the number of water supply companies increased, the number of intakes from the Thames increased, and the river was becoming more and more polluted by the human waste. Many of the water intakes were almost adjoining sewer outfalls, leading to frequent epidemics of water-borne disease, such as cholera. In 1828 a Royal Commission recommended that all intakes for water supplies should be moved upstream and also that suspended matter should be removed. These recommendations were based on aesthetic and not health reasons, but as the recommendations were adopted, the public health benefitted.

In London, water was brought in the 17th century from remote rivers by the New River Company to reservoirs in the City. Several other companies developed and introduced pumping, an idea originating evidently in Germany (Rosen). People obtained their water from cisterns housed in very ornate and elaborate structures called the "Conduit". During the 17th century, companies started to pump water to reservoirs whence it was piped to private homes.


Developments were similar in N. America, the Roman lessons having evidently been forgotten. Even the idea of publicly-owned water and sanitary systems did not come into effect here until about the mid-19th century (Grigg, 1986). The construction of water supply systems in the U.S. dates from 1754 with a system for the Morravian settlement at Bethlehem, Pa. (Grigg, 1986). It comprised spring water pumped through bored logs. Philadelphia was another early system similarly using bored logs at about this time, but utilizing horse-driven pumps, as did Cincinnati. Such systems did not last more than a few years. In 1801 Philadelphia had the first use of large steam engines for municipal water conveyance. This pioneer public works was a dismal failure. Laying the wooden conduits was expensive, and the bored logs constantly sprung leaks, and the steam engines frequently broke down. The engines were replaced and iron pipe replaced the unreliable wooden mains a few years later.

During the 19th century, attention began to be directed to the connections between supplies, water courses, and the management of wastewater. Many communities were served with water from nearby sources such as springs and wells that were easily contaminated. Iron pipes and steam engines were introduced in the early 19th century, and were operating very reliably by mid-century. In 1842 the City of New York opened the Croton Aqueduct which allowed them to obtain water from a great distance away. It was constructed as a tunnel for most of its 33-mile length with a horseshoe cross-section. Its height and width were 13 ft 6" and it was lined with brick up to 24 inches thick. With the introduction of cast iron, wrought iron, and steel pipes which were able to withstand high pressures, it was no longer necessary to build an elevated channel across valleys.

The joints of cast iron pipes were normally of the spigot and socket type, caulked with lead, but flanged joints were used for connecting to valves and other fittings, and ball-and-socket joints had been designed to provide flexibility. Pipes were protected against corrosion by a coal-tar composition, first used in 1860 at Liverpool. Wrought iron tubes were made as early as 1825 by drawing long strips of hot metal through a ring-die.

The first steel water mains were being laid in the US about 1860. Early steel pipes were riveted but welded pipes were introduced in 1887. They were more susceptible to corrosion than cast iron.

In the US, the establishment of a community water supply generally preceded a sewerage system by a period of 5 to 50 years. Eventually the community water supplies were used to carry away household wastes. The death rates that had decreased due to improved water supply systems, began to rise in about 1815 due to polluted water.

During the late 19th century, water-borne diseases were reduced by protecting water supplies, conveying wastewater away from ground water sources, and by an awareness of public sanitation. Combined sewer systems were developed from the 1850's on, and continued to be built until the Second World War.

There was rapid growth in water supply and wastewater management programs in the early part of the 20th century. But the real advances in water quality control date from after the mid century, with significant federal legislation and local regulations being implemented from the 1970's on. Typical was the separation of sanitary and storm sewers.


Dogs were employed in the supply of water to households in Atlin British Columbia prior to a pipe network.

In the first half of the 19th century, the situation in Canadian cities was similar to that elsewhere. It was common to store human excrement and other wastes in pails which were dumped in the streets or emptied into the nearest body of water. In Montreal, the civic government ordered residents in 1760 to pile their daily refuse in front of their properties. Their collectors proceeded to dump it into the St. Lawrence River.

Honey bucket bag systems are still in use in the Arctic.

In Toronto, then York, the first attempts to; provide sewerage systems arose from waves of cholera of 1832, 1843, 1849 and 1854.

Hamilton started constructing its water supply in 1857, and its sewers soon after. They used the tragedy of the 1854 plague as a political force.

Prior to the 1908 construction of pipeline, reservoir, pumping station and stand pipe in Guelph, 50% of hospital bed space was occupied in the fall of each year by typhoid cases. The 3.9 mile long pipeline had an inside diameter of two feet. 95% was laid in tile pipe, and the remaining 5% was laid in iron pipe.

Advances in metallurgy and materials science led to relative reductions in the cost of construction of water and sewer systems. This led to a significant improvement in public health. The materials have evolved from stone and wood, lead, copper, ceramics and clay, cast iron, ductile iron, concrete, steel and most recently, plastics. Even with these advancements, conditions similar to earlier times may still be found in frontier settlement, such as in the NWT, where outbreaks of infectious hepatitis may still occur.

The Shoal Lake Aqueduct was constructed for the purpose of supplying Winnipeg with fresh water. The concrete work of the Shoal Lake Aqueduct in 1916 was quite complex.

The modem urban water system in the US and Canada provides adequate quantities of water on a continuous pressure basis to virtually the entire urban population. In the first half of the 19th century, the situation in Canadian cities was similar to that elsewhere. Most buildings had no indoor plumbing, and it was common to store human excrement and other wastes in pails which were dumped in the streets or emptied into the nearest body of water (Ball, 1986). The civic government in Montreal ordered residents in 1760 to daily pile their refuse in front of their properties, so that their collectors could dump it into the St. Lawrence River, rather than continue heaving it over the City walls. "Honey bucket" bag systems are still in use in the Arctic. In the spring of 1832, Toronto (then York) was not pretty:
stagnant pools of water, green as a leek, and emitting deadly exhalations are to be met with in every corner of the town - yards and cellars send forth a stench from rotten vegetables sufficient of itself to produce a plague (Ball, 1988).
The first attempts to provide sewerage arose from the waves of cholera of 1832, 1843, 1849 and 1854.

Hamilton started constructing its water supply in 1857, and its sewers soon after, using the tragedy of the 1854 plague as a political force. Saint John constructed permanent sewers using wooden gravity pipes in the 1830's. Advances in metallurgy and materials science led to relative reductions in the cost of construction of water and sewer systems, and public health improved significantly from the mid-19th century as a result of increased expenditures on the urban infrastructure. Materials have changed from stone and wood, to bricks and cast iron, to ductile iron, concrete and, latterly, plastics.

Today, however, conditions similar to earlier times may be found in frontier settlements (though rarely), e.g. in the NNW, where outbreaks of infectious hepatitis may still occur. Risky situations at the outfalls of combined sewer systems in public areas, again e.g. demand careful evaluation. Moreover, modem travel and communications lead to concern beyond our borders. Conditions in Bangladesh, e.g. are notorious, and warrant international attention, since some diseases could originate there and be transmitted elsewhere.

The Arctic.

Here are the pics reproduced with permission from Gronlands vandforsyning 1950-1990 by Konrad von Rauschenberger and Hermann Jensen, 1996 ISBN 87-984385-0-6

Longitudinal raw water supply pipe for Godthab. Note the rough terrain, supply lake, tunnel, bridge crossings, distribution reservoir and waterworks.
Sukkertoppen new and old waterworks are located right below the rockfill dam.
Pump station, raw water pipe on careful grade with a sledge crossing. Note the cemetery must be fenced off. Why?
Suspension bridge with lateral bracing on the raw water supply pipe for Javobshaven.
For short spans a simple steel bridge with under structure that clears the spring ice flows.
Each support is individually engineered - functional but perhaps not universally aesthetically pleasing?
Very effective, simple support for double pipe system does not cause extensive groundmelt.
Ongoing repairs for insulated pipes.
Pipes freeze in the winter, and are more readily repaired in summer.

Here are the Trans Alaska pipeline pics from the Builders - marvels of engineering by the National geographic Society (1992).

Built in 1975, the pipeline carries petroleum products 800 miles due South right across Alaska from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, site of the infamous oilspill.
Elevated 40 inch pipeline made in Japan in 40 ft lengths allows animals to pass freely below.
Pipe supports are engineered to maintain freezing temperatures in the permafrost (oil in the pipe flows at 125 deg F). Note the cooling vanes and expansion joint.
78000 supports contain liquid ammonia, dissipate heat through the aluminum vanes. Pipe is insulated with fibreglass. Slides are teflon coated. Remotely controlled valves can cut off flow in 4 minutes.
Concrete thrust blocks weight down the pipe to stop it from floating in melted ground.
Refrigerated brine keeps the soil frozen solid.
350 river and stream crossings, 3 mountain ranges, and zones of seismic activity.
Autonomous diesel powered vehicle snoopy with sensors and some repair capability was used to inspect the pipe.


What does the history of urban water systems teach us?

Although my main premise remains unproven so far in these pages, it seems to me that more and more pure water and better pollution control are not part of the long-term solution, only short-term palliatives. In other words, we need new approaches that ensure bio-restoration of aquatic ecosystems as the price of development. Bigger, more cost-efficient conveyance infrastructure will only increase population intensification and "populution". New infrastructure and associated measures must now be required to restore aquatic ecosystems (including both species and genetic diversity), i.e. restore the physical and chemical flow conditions for habitat regeneration. Project budget provisions should now include all planning, design, construction, operation and future maintenance costs for bio-restoration as a continuing societal commitment (i.e. without end). Ultimately, aquatic ecosystem bio-restoration may depend on control, perhaps reduction, of the human "infestation".


  1. The lecture is accompanied by a large collection of overhead transparencies and 35 mm colour slides. The illustrations cover in detail the effects of population on water and pollution, and of water on population and pollution. The provision of sanitary water conditions in Hamilton is covered in more detail.
  2. Acknowledgements are due to Dr. Bob Pitt of the U of Alabama in Birmingham, especially for material on population effects, and for references 6, 7, 12 and 13.

Reading List

  1. Armstrong, E.L. (Editor). 1976. History of Public Works in the U.S. 1776-1976. Amer Pub. Works Assoc. 751 pp.
  2. Ball, N.R. (Editor). 1988. Building Canada - A History of Public Works. Univ. of Toronto Press.
  3. Rosen, G. A History of Public Health. @ Publications Inc. NY.
  4. Pannell, J.P.M. An Illustrated History of Civil Engineering. Thames and Hudson, London.
  5. Grigg, N.S. Urban Water Infrastructure: Planning, Management and Operations. John Wiley and Sons.
  6. Singer, C. et al (editors) 1958. A History of Technology. Clarendon Press, Oxford. Particularly:
    1. Water Supply. Chap 23. pp 552-568 in Vol 5: The Late Nineteenth Century.
    2. Sanitary Engineering. Chap 16, Part 1: Water Supply. pp 489-503. in Vol 4: The Industrial Revolution.
    3. Sanitary Engineering. Chap 16, Part 2: Sanitation. pp504-519. in Vol. 4:The Industrial Revolution.
    4. Forbes, R.J. Hydraulic Engineering and Sanitation. Chap 19. pp 663-669 in Vol 2: The Mediterranean Civilizations and the Middle Ages c700BC - c1500AD.
  7. Metcalf, L. and Eddy, H.P. 1914. American Sewerage Practice. Vol 1: Design of Sewers.
  8. Sprague de Camp, L. 1984. The Ancient Engineers. Ballantine Books, NY. c460pp.
  9. Campbell, M.F. A Mountain and a City. McCIelland and Stewart Ltd.
  10. Johnson, L.A. 1977. History of Guelph, 1827-1927. Guelph Historical Society.
  11. James, W. and E.M. 1978. A Sufficient Quantity of Pure and Wholesome Water The Story of Hamilton's Pumphouse. Phelps Pub co.
  12. Hugo, Victor. The Intestines of the Leviathan. (pub with Les Miserables?) Signet Classics. 1987. pp 1256-1275.
  13. Dickens, Charles. The Water-Drops. Dickens Shorter Tales - Choice Stories from Dickens Household Words. Donahue Henneberry and Co., Chicago. undated pp 287-324.


  1. History of plumbing by Plumber's Magazine.

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1996,1997,1998 William James

updated 1998-01-22