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When was the first water purification devices made and who invented them?


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September 03, 2008 1:28AM

The first way to purify water was to boil it. As I am sure you know tracking down the inventor of the fire will be tricky.

The first documented attempts to treat drinking water are recorded in ancient Greek and Sanskrit writings that date back to 2000 B.C. At this time, people were aware that boiling water helped to purify it and that filtration and straining methods helped to reduce visible particles and turbidity in water.

The Greek scientist Hippocrates, who invented the first cloth bag filter around 500 B.C, also believed that if water tasted and smelled clean, it must be healthful for the body. His invention, called the "Hippocratic sleeve," was one of the first domestic water filters.

Throughout the 1700s, as people began to understand more about the dangers of drinking water contaminants, domestic water filter units made from wool, sponge, and charcoal began to be used in individual homes. In the year 1804, the first large municipal water treatment plant was installed in Scotland in order to provide treated water to every resident. This revolutionary installation prompted the idea that all people should have access to clean drinking water. However, it would be some time before this ambitious idea would be implemented widely throughout the world.