The Water of Life
Nearly every home and public facility in the United States have one thing in common: the availability of moving a knob or lever to access clean drinking water. Efforts to produce clean drinking water dates back to ancient times. Back then, the measurement of what constitutes clean water was in its taste. The technique proved inaccurate more often than not, bringing forth years of ongoing innovations and developments to improve drinking water.
200 years ago, in the early 1800s, Scotland developed the first water purifying plant in the world. The plant filtered water through gravel and sand. Later, in the 1820s, a Scottish gentleman by the name of Robert Thom invented a new kind of filter which he called slow sand filters. This led to another inventor, James Simpson, to create a similar product which quickly became used around the world. This slow sand filter proved to be not practical because the amount of sand required took up a lot of valuable land space – space that was needed for the rapid population growth at the time. Then, in the 1880s, the rapid sand filtration method hit the United States. This method was similar to Mr. Thom’s slow sand filter system, but the new system added another technology – mechanical agitators that loosened dirt and debris and water jets for cleaning the actual filter. Rapid sand filtration also introduced charcoal filtration which improved the taste and odor of the water.
During this time, the link between the quality of water and good versus poor health also became evident. More and more cities across the world began to adopt these early water filtration systems.
100 years later in the early 1900s, the drinking water that many of us take for granted today still did not exist. Back then, a glass of water could satisfy your thirst or it could make you gravely ill. Cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery (waterborne diseases) remain a constant and dangerous threat to the population and their bacteria was in the water supply. Thankfully, scientists and engineers were busy finding a better way to consistently produce clean drinking water.
In the early to the mid-1900s, canals, aqueducts, and dams were being built all across America to not only bring in water from lakes, mountain water, and rivers but to also filter and purify the water. In 1919, civil engineer Abel Wolman and chemist Linn Enslow experimented until they discovered that the waterborne diseases found in water could be eliminated by adding a precise amount of chlorine to the water during the purification process. By the 1930s, chlorination and filtration of public water did indeed eliminate waterborne diseases and the method was adopted across the United States. Today, this system continues around the world, supplying millions with safe drinking water. Further, similar systems are being installed in areas of the world that do not have the capacity for the larger filtration systems.
Although some would argue that our water today is less than perfect, and we do agree. The challenge is providing and satisfying the unbelievable demands for healthy water to the people of a nation and the world. As technology improves and knowledge increases, scientists and chemists along with health advocates and environmentalists will all work together to make the best possible water for everyone at that time in history.
The Eshelman Legal Group
The attorneys at the Eshelman Legal Group understand that no matter how cautious you are, others may not be so careful, and accidents do happen. So we hope you don’t need to, but if you are in a situation where you need the advice of an personal injury attorney, the Eshelman Legal Group is here to help you. For over 40 years we have been assisting accident victims, and we are here to assist you too... because “We’ll make things right.”
Ask yourself this question… who does the adjuster work for? The adjuster works for the insurance company, they do not work for you.