Ancient civilizations may not have known about bacteria, viruses, and dangerous amoebas, but they quickly figured out that some water sources were better than others. The Greeks, Indians, and people from all over the world soon developed water treatment methods to give their settlements access to clean, safe drinking water. Over the years, purification technology has evolved from simple devices that made water taste better to advanced machines capable of filtering out radioactive atoms.
The Ancient World
Ancient Greek and Indian writings offer the first recorded instances of water treatment techniques, dating back to 2,000 BC. These simple techniques, such as heating the water or filtering it through gravel, are still used by campers and survivalists today. Around 1,500 BC, the Ancient Egyptians discovered the principle of coagulation, which is when a chemical such as alum is added to water, forcing tiny particles that can pass through filters to clump together.
The First Modern Water Filters
While the Romans built amazing aqueducts that could transport water for several miles, no new advancements in water filtration were made until the discovery of micro-organisms in the 17th century. Shortly after that, home water treatment systems were invented, and they consisted of wool, charcoal, and sponge filters. The first municipal water plants, using slow sand filtration systems, were developed in Scotland in 1804.
Modern Water Treatment Techniques
In 1854, London authorities traced a cholera outbreak to a contaminated pump, which they disinfected with chlorine. This technique was so successful that it quickly spread around the world. Although, it was later replaced with less harmful substances. In the U.S., cities started experimenting with large-scale rapid sand filtration systems, which were later combined with steam purification.
During the 20th century, home water treatment systems became capable of removing dangerous organisms, minerals, and heavy metals from water, and municipal purification plants grew more sophisticated. Now, with reverse osmosis technology and other advanced filtration systems, treatment systems can remove almost anything, leaving you with fresh, clean, and safe drinking water.
For over 30 years, The Water Source has been the Hudson Valley’s choice for clean water. Homeowners and commercial clients in New York depend on their experienced technicians, who will conduct a thorough water analysis and recommend cutting-edge water treatment products to ensure the purity of your supply. Visit their website to find out how they can help, or call (845) 297-1600 to schedule a water analysis today.