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Heil Plumbing Trivia: First City to Build Sewer System

< 1 min read • June 28th, 2016

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Trivia Question of the Day:Which large city became the first in America to build a comprehensive sewer system?

Trivia Question of the Day Answer: Chicago

In the mid 1800’s, Chicago was a booming lakeside port and industrial center. However, the city’s waste water was becoming a growing problem. Because dirty water could not properly drain out of populated areas, diseases like cholera plagued the residents. At the end of 1855 the Chicago Board of Sewerage Commissioners presented a plan designed by engineer E.S. Chesbrough of Boston to install a new storm-sewer system. The plan required the city to literally jack up buildings several feet high to install the new sewer pipes. Over the next twenty years, Chicago managed to create the first comprehensive waste water systems in the country. The District of Columbia followed shortly in the 1870’s and Baltimore’s sewer system construction began in 1907.





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