14 Jan History of water transport
There has always been a need for inland water transportation and as the population increased so did the need for fresh water. Nowadays, we often forget a time when water was not readily available because we are used to having running water at our finger tips—but this was not always the case.
Before the creation of aqueducts, people sourced water from polluted rivers and streams, like in London where the Thames and other local rivers were the main water sources available. A 40-mile supply channel, carrying spring water from Hertfordshire to north London, was opened in 1613 but water supply quickly became rife with disease. It wasn’t until the Metropolitan Water Act of 1852 that all water supplied to London was filtered to prevent cholera. This system still brings much of the water into London using the same iron pipes that were installed over one hundred years ago, despite calls for significant upgrades due to frequent leaks.
According to myth, the first ever hose was one made out of Ox’s intestines by the Ancient Greeks but since then they have been developed using synthetic materials. Originally, synthetic hoses were invented using a clunky design, engineered by carrying water through stitching material together—you can imagine how water tight this must have been. The design was invented as a practical fire hose back in 1673 but it wouldn’t be for another couple of hundred years til the watering can, as we know it today, would be invented as an alternative to ‘watering pots’ which were supposedly used from as early as the 79AD!
During WW2, when gardening played a huge part in the food effort, hoses were not often used in everyday gardening because water was rationed. However, Franklin Roosevelt famously quoted using a hose to help a neighbour in a speech made to explain the Lend Lease Act—where America provided valuable supplies to the allies.
In 1989 the UK Government passed the Water Act which enabled parts of the industry to be passed to the private sector. Following privatisation, Thames Water constructed and now operates an underground tunnel which acts as a “ring of water” flowing under the streets of London. Since its implementation in 1994, the 80km system provides up to 1,300m litres (285m gallons) a day – enough to fill the Albert Hall eight times – via three major treatment works. To this day that’s how water freely flows to our homes every day. In turn, water reservoirs and rivers are also better maintained to provide ample drinking water to wildlife and protected reserves.
For the everyday gardener, it’s unlikely that you collect your own rain water so if you are using water from your kitchen tap to water plants, it will have been treated and filtered to be fit for human consumption. Drinking from an outside tap is not usually encouraged because it’s not g uaranteed to be supplied from the main water supply, and therefore safe to drink. Plus, traditionally, garden hoses are made from plastic and can include toxins. By contrast, the YOYO hose is made free of phthalates and PVC and hold certificates for the safe passage of drinking water, avoiding heavy metals or other dangerous substances.
The ultimate solution
Since their introduction, hoses have grown in popularity as their practical approach to everyday water transportation became known. Variations of the traditional garden hose have now been developed further using cutting-edge technology so there are hoses created for a multitude of purposes—but there is only one hose that does it all.
The YOYO hose is the latest addition in the story of water transportation advances across the UK. It functions on every level providing water transportation which is easily stored, anti-kink, durable and does not leak—miles apart from the original design in the 17th Century. This hose is making history of its own with a design that is fully extendable and connectors which can be easily replaced. With a 5-year guarantee, it really is an all-in-one solution so it’s hard to imagine a world before this hose existed but count yourself lucky that you were around when the YOYO hose ruled the waterways.