Waste Not: A Brief History of the Urban Sewer System

Although the Romans invented sewers, it was the British that innovated them. Edwin Chadwick envisioned a grand connected hydraulic system that would prevent disease crises; however, his ideas were unrealistic and too ambitious for the British Parliament. Instead, they called on his rival, Joseph William Bazalgette, to design a massive sewer network after London experienced the Great Stink, when the smell of the human and industrial waste dumped in the River Thames became too much to bear.
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