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The History of Water Filtration

Essential to survival, water has been a primary concern for civilizations throughout history. From the Egyptians to the ancient Greeks to the industrialized communities of today, nearly every major settlement has clustered near a natural source of water. These days, you have access to advanced filtration systems to remove potentially dangerous toxins and microorganisms. With that being said, water filtration is nothing new. In fact, even the oldest known civilizations used some form of filtration method to provide potable water to citizens.

history of water

Stepping Back in Time

Water treatment dates back at least four millennia, when early civilizations strained and boiled their drinking water to remove unwanted particles. About 2,500 years ago, however, the ancient Greeks took things a step further by employing a simple cloth back filter developed by the famous scientist Hippocrates. Around the same time, the Egyptians were using their own systems to make drinking water safer. In addition to heating the water by adding hot irons, they forced the liquid through sand and gravel to eliminate dirt and other undesired particles.

Over the next 2,000 years, filtration methods remained relatively stagnant, until the early 1600s, when Britain’s Sir Robert Bacon revived interest in filtration by conducting experiments aimed at eliminating salt from sea water. A few decades later, the development of the microscope made researchers aware of the numerous microorganisms living in water. This prompted many nations to implement new filtration methods, consisting of wool, sponge and charcoal filters.

Despite this new knowledge, a true commitment to widespread filtration didn’t transpire until the mid-1800s, when British scientist John Snow proved that deadly cholera could spread through contaminated water. In addition to this important discovery, Snow also demonstrated that chlorine could be used to disinfect water, which led to widespread adoption of this method—still in use today.

By the beginning of the 1900s, most developed nations had imposed minimum standards of water quality. These regulations gave the private sector increased incentive for devising new filtration methods. As competition and technology grew, we began seeing many of the filtration methods still used today.

Home Water Filtration

Nowadays, most Americans receive water that has been treated at government-run treatment facilities. However, research has shown that much of America’s drinking water still contains a myriad of potentially-harmful chemicals and residues related to manufacturing runoff and agricultural byproducts. In turn, more and more residents are installing affordable Whole House Water Filtration systems, consisting of granular activated carbon medias (GAC), 5-Micron pre-filter systems and zinc/copper oxidation media (KDF-55) to inhibit bacteria and algae growth to provide cleaner, safer water from every tap in the house.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter