History of the British Drainage System

January 29th, 2010

Interestingly enough, if engineers from the Victorian era had not possessed creative and exceptional engineering skills then our drainage system today would be much worse than it actually is.

Of course, we all still suffer with blocked drains and a range of drainage problems, however, things could have been a lot worse than they are today.

Joseph Bazalgette was a chief engineer at the London Metropolitan Board of Works in the 19th century. Following his time as a railway engineer in the Royal Navy, Joseph gained a huge amount of experience in land drainage over his career.

Due to the constant cholera outbreaks which happened during the mid 19th century,
London’s Metropolitan Board began improving the London sewers. By 1866, a complete London sewer network has been designed and installed by Joseph that covered the majority of the city of London.

Joseph’s drainage design meant that waste water which came from old sewers and underground rivers was diverted to the Thames embankment treatment works.

He then began training other engineers in the United Kingdom who then were able to update each drainage system which existed under the surface of their British towns in similar ways.

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