Standardized earthenware plumbing pipes with broad flanges making use of asphalt for preventing leakages appeared in the urban settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2700 B.C.E.
The plumbing industry is a basic and substantial part of every developed economy, due to the need for clean water and proper collection and transport of wastes.
A plumber is a person who installs or repairs piping systems, plumbing fixtures, and equipment such as water heaters.
Plumbing originated during the ancient civilizations, such as those of Greece, Rome, Persia, India, and China, as they developed public baths and needed to provide potable water and drainage of wastes.
Plumbing equipment includes items such as water meters, pumps, expansion tanks, backflow preventers, filters, water softeners, water heaters, heat exchangers, gauges, and control systems.
Plumbing is usually distinguished from water and sewage systems, in that a plumbing system serves one building, whereas water and sewage systems serve a group of buildings or a city.
Improvements in the world economy led to an economic growth rate in Singapore of 8.3 percent in 2004, 6.4 percent in 2005, and 7.7 percent in 2006.
The term plumbing also refers to the pipes and fixtures that are part of such a system.
The World Plumbing Council (WPC) has appointed a representative to the World Health Organization (WHO) to take forward various projects related to their joint publication, Health Aspects of Plumbing.
Much of the plumbing work in populated areas (cities, towns, and so forth) is regulated by government or quasi-government agencies, due to the direct impact on public health, safety, and welfare.