According to the most recent American Community Survey, there are almost 630,000 households in the United States that lack complete indoor plumbing facilities – they are without one or more of the following: a tub or shower, running water, and/or a flushing toilet.
How can that be true in the wealthiest country in the world in the year 2015? It’s important to realize, first of all, that indoor plumbing is actually a relatively new development for many communities in the United States. In 1950, 25% of the households in the country did not have a flushing toilet, which means that there are millions of people in the country still living who have memory of outhouses.
Where in the U.S. is Plumbing a Problem?
The Census Bureau states that the average American household contains 2.6 people, so there are roughly about 1.6 million people living in the United States without full indoor plumbing. As you can see from the map, there is considerable geographic variance. Counties with Indian reservations have very high numbers of households without plumbing, as do sparsely populated census areas in Alaska.
In addition, counties located along the Rio Grande in Texas have noticeably high rates of unplumbed homes, and so too does the Appalachia area – mostly in western Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Southwestern Alabama is another area with an increased rate of homes that are “underplumbed”.
*photo courtesy of The Washington Post
Outhouses Aren’t Just for People Who Live “Out There”
This occurrence of homes being without full plumbing capabilities isn’t reserved for lands that are sparsely populated or “out in the middle of nowhere”, either. While DC plumbing services are busy with customers today, it was only 30 years ago that a town in Maryland became independent of relying on outhouses. Christopher Ingraham, in the Washington Post writes, “The town I live in, Oella, Md., was reliant on outhouses until 1984. And it’s smack in the middle of the Acela corridor, between Baltimore and Washington.”
Being without full plumbing is much more than an issue of inconvenience – it’s also an issue of health and safety risk. If your DC plumbing isn’t working properly – drains are clogged, toilets are slow to flush, or you think you may have a leak somewhere, it’s important that you callMagnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Washington, D.C. to prevent larger, more expensive plumbing issues that can not only make your household uncomfortable, but also unsafe and unhealthy. Contact Magnolia today!