Clay Sewer Pipes and the Problems They Present
In the modern world, not many people connect plumbing to clay and terra cotta, probably because they do not have the strengths of more common metallic or plastic pipes. But clay sewer pipes have an interesting history and are worth knowing about.
The History of Clay PIpes
Ancient Babylonians made the first pipes out of clay around 6,000 years ago. The practice of making pipes from clay lasted thousands of years because it’s relatively simple. The basic process has stayed the same across time and cultures. Clay pipes are fired in a kiln, chemically changed and hardened. There are still clay pipes in Anatolia, and they’re about 4,000 years old!
The Pros and Cons
Even into the early 1900s, clay sewer lines were used around the world. However, as human technology advanced and human cities got bigger, the standards for sewer lines increased. With the modern economy making the sourcing of metals and plastic easier than ever, many people are phasing clay out. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
|PROs of Clay Pipes||CONs of Clay Pipes|
Some people still use clay piping today. The National Clay Pipe Institute champions the use of VCP (or Vitrified Clay Pipe), and cities like Portland can sometimes spend millions of dollars refurbishing existing clay systems.