While we take many things for granted in the United States and our own neighborhoods, nothing holds the mantle like running water and modern plumbing systems. However, in a report from the Washington Post last year, data from the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that nearly 630,000 homes in the United States does not have hot or cold running water, a flush toilet, or a bathtub or shower.
In King County, Washington, 0.472 percent of 796,555 occupied housing units don't have access to the aforementioned facilities. That's about 3,760, which puts the county in the middle of the pack in terms of percentage. Other counties in Washington, such as Jefferson County, Klickitat County, and much of the northeast portion of the state have much higher percentages and a larger portion of the population lacking proper plumbing facilities.
Alaska has the nation's highest rate of underdeveloped plumbing infrastructure, with many counties approaching nearly 50% without plumbing at all. Instead, rural Alaskans use "honey buckets," or buckets fitted with a toilet seat to be emptied elsewhere later on.
Check out the Washington Post's interactive version of the map here.
These portable toilets, outhouses, and pump wells are common solutions to the lack of modern techniques, and remote areas combined with lack of financial resources make implementing such systems a challenge.
Dangers of outdoor plumbing include the potential to poison and pollute groundwater tables and nearby streams, which can be mitigated with a septic tank.
Whether you have indoor plumbing or not, Pioneer Plumbing and Heating has the knowledge and expertise needed to update your home's pipes and infrastructure so that water flows freely and safely for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a check-up or for service on a plumbing-related issue.