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Water Sanitation and Hygiene Essay

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Baths and water supply: Pompeii were supplied with water by the “Serinum aqueduct” as it is commonly known, or the imperial aqueduct at Misenum Water was then transported to the “castellum aquae” near the Vesuvian Gate and then provided to all areas of the city under the footpaths.

“Bathing for Romans was a social occasion. The baths were places everybody went almost every day. Some baths were communal some were private enterprises, some were expensive and some were cheap”. Quoted by Joseph Jay

The Palaestra: the Romans are known to have been very physically sound people, from their strict regimen as soldiers, to their sports and events such as the Olympic Games. Just like Rome itself, Pompeii had a place of exercise, which was called called “The Palaestra”. It was a big open field, it had columns which were probably used as lanes, starting blocks, and coasters for runners and throwers to train in. The Palaestra was equipped with weights on one side, which would have mainly been used for weightlifting-type purposes, there was also a swimming pool dug up in the middle of the grounds which would have been used for swimming related activities. Apart for the people who went at trained at the Palestra individually, there have been some speculations to do with there have been a sort of personal trainer-type position, where wealthier people could, not only afford to use the facilities of the Palaestra, but also pay another person to guide them through exercising. The Palaestra was also conveniently placed immediately besides the colosseum in Pompeii – were there would be exhibition fights between gladiators, animals and a mix of both – where the elite athletes would show their skills, the Palaestra was also the place where the slaves that were condemned to a life of fighting would go to train.

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Sewerage system: the city of Pompeii had the same sewerage system as Rome did, with stone brick tunnels, water and waste were transported from wherever it was picked up and was transported to a main sewerage which at the end of was usually a downstream river or stream. The sewers were a very vital role in keeping Pompeii clan and disease free, it made sure that there were no wastes left out and about the streets, homes, or common places, and it also made the city much more upper class, by having sewers Pompeii did not have a hygiene problem like other lower class cities. The role of the sewers was that of disposing of waste, mainly feces and other bodily fluids from the latrines, bath houses and other places like homes and taverns which saw people having to use toilets. There were people just like now, who worked in the sewers and kept them operational and functional, these people would not have been payed much and usually died of infections or diseases from the waste. The engineers and builders who build the sewers would however be payed a fair bit because of the skill you would need. Despite this system people did still dispose of waste by throwing it out the window, which meant that streets were usually filled with waste so stepping stones were adopted for pedestrians.

Bathing in Ancient Rome was as normal as showering is to us now, people, rich or poor, would go to the bath houses daily, – or if they could not afford it most days -. Bath houses were usually communal, although there were private ones for the extremely wealthy who would have wo in their own home. For those who could not afford having their own, there were public bath houses which could be used by everyone in Pompeii, for the slightly more rich the baths would be open just before lunch in the morning, the water would be fresh as they were the first ones to go, it was also warm thanks to the heating that would take place in the morning, fresh soap was ready for them and for when they got out the laundry was ready for them to leave their dirty clothes. For the less rich, the baths would open in the early afternoon after lunch, the water would not be as clean as it was in the morning and it would not be warm anymore, there would also be lots more people and facilities like soap and sponges would have ran out by the time a commoner went in, the laundry would also be very full so most people would have to wait until the next day to go and pick up their clothes, they also prioritised the wealthy. All waste was disposed in the sewers, therefore making it much more hygienic and efficient, people would however exchange germs in the water, but overall it is a better alternative to not washing at all.

Pompeii had its own aqueduct which is called the “Serinum aqueduct”. There are almost no physical remains of the actual aqueduct which fed Pompeii, only the last 112 m before it entered the castellum divisorium are known. There are although remains of the Serinum aqueduct in Naples, which some plans show to have gone as far as Pompeii. The aqueduct comfortably provided the city with all the water it needed on a daily basis, and made sure that the sewage systems were running comfortably and efficiently.

Just like every other Ancient Roman aqueduct this one would gather water from springs, carry the water to the “castellum”, which would distribute the water to: cisterns and water fountains, baths, public homes and latrines, which would then be used and discarded of in the sewers as waste, then picked up by rivers and streams, to then start the cycle again from the springs. Aqueducts were a way for a city to become instantly notorious because of how advanced it was at the time to have running water all over a city, it was also a sign of wealth for a city. All Romans were eligible for free and unlimited water, so it was not unusual for a Roman city to have such an advanced way to deliver water.

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Water Sanitation and Hygiene Essay. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-and-hygiene-essay/
“Water Sanitation and Hygiene Essay.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-and-hygiene-essay/
Water Sanitation and Hygiene Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-and-hygiene-essay/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Water Sanitation and Hygiene Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/water-sanitation-and-hygiene-essay/
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