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A Brief History of Water Treatment. Tom O’Connor, PE. 2000 B.C.E. Sanskrit Writings. The Sus’ruta Samhita “impure water should be purified by being boiled over a fire, or being heated in the sun, or by dipping a heated iron into it,

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2000 b c e sanskrit writings
2000 B.C.E. Sanskrit Writings

The Sus’ruta Samhita

“impure water should be purified by being boiled over a fire, or being heated in the sun, or by dipping a heated iron into it,

or it may be purified by filtration through sand and coarse gravel and then allowed to cool.”

The Sanskrit Ousruta Sanghita

“It is good to keep water in copper vessels, to expose it to sunlight, and filter through charcoal.”

400 b c e hippocrate s sleeve
400 B.C.E. Hippocrate’s Sleeve

Select the most health-giving source

“for water contributes much to health”

Rain water

“should be boiled and strained;

otherwise, it will have a bad smell

and cause hoarseness.”

For straining

a cloth bag (later called Hippocrate’s sleeve)

1 000 c e arabia persia
<1,000 C.E. - Arabia, Persia

Arabian alchemist, Geber - Distillation

“purification of liquid matter from its turbulent feces, and conservation of it from putrefaction.”

Persian physician, Avicenna - Boiling

Boiling (efficient);Straining through cloth;

Aeration, either by gravity or agitation.

1685 c e sand filtration
1685 C.E. - Sand Filtration

Italian Physician - Luc Antonio Porzio

Mass Sanitation - for soldiers in the field

Straining, sedimentation, followed by multiple (downward-flow) filtration through sand was a “very efficacious method of correcting the bad qualities of water”.

1700 c e
1700 C.E.

Parisian Scientist La Hire - 1703

Rain Water Cistern with Sand Filter

covered to exclude light and prevent freezing. Water will keep for years without spoiling (becoming mineralized through contact with the soil).

Italian Oceanographer, Marsigli - 1711

Sea water is not made drinkable by filtering!

Marsigli filtered sea water through a 6,000 foot-long glass tube filled with sand.

1750 c e softening coagulation
1750 C.E. - Softening, Coagulation

Scotch Physician, Dr. Francis Home - 1756

‘Experiments on Bleaching’

first scientific experiments on water softening.

London Physician, Dr. William Heberden - 1767

“The common people of England successfully

use alum to purify muddy water -2-3 grains per quart

making the dirt very soon flocculate then slowly precipitate”.

1750 c e water filter patent
1750 C.E. - Water Filter Patent

French entrepreneur, Joseph Amy

First book on filters: Nouvelles Fontaines Domestiques

First filter patent application: 1745

First filter manufacturer: substituted sponge for sand

Poisoned by copper, Amy exposed the menace of copper poisoning. He used lead, pewter or earthenware instead.

1790 c e filtration in britain
1790 C.E. - Filtration in Britain

James Peacock, first English filter patent: 1791

-- novel concept of upflow filtration with reverse-flow wash

Filtered water supply for Paisley, Scotland: 1804

Piped water to consumers in Glasgow, Scotland: 1810

Scottish Engineer, Robert Thom, slow sand filter: 1827

-- false bottom filter cleaned by reverse flow

English Engineer, James Simpson, slow sand filter: 1829

-- deep filter cleaned by surface scraping

american rapid filter 1880
American Rapid Filter - 1880

American Inventors, Patrick Clark, John Hyatt: 1880

mechanical filtration, backwash, surface wash