The very first municipal water filtration system opened in 1804 in Paisley, Scotland. This was the first time that anyone had tried to put water filtration into effect for a large water supply. Since then, there have been many milestones that have paved the way for safe drinking water in America and beyond. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable moments in drinking water history below:
1835: Scientists realized that adding chlorine to water in controlled portions could help alleviate foul odors. Later on, in 1890, they would realize that the reason this worked was that chlorine was also a great disinfectant for drinking water as well.
1854: Dr. John Snow investigated the cholera outbreaks that took the lives of so many worldwide. He discovered that those who fell ill in London had all used the same water source. However, it wasn’t until 1882 that London began to filter its drinking water.
1896: A better method of water filtration was born! The Louisville Water Company used coagulation, paired with rapid-sand filtration to successfully filter out 99% of bacteria, leaving water clear, crisp and healthier.
1902: By now, scientists understand that germs transmit illness, and that chlorinating drinking water could help kill bacteria. However, not all water systems were using chlorine successfully. In fact, Belgium was the first country to implement continuous chlorination.
1908: The United States followed suit shortly after, implementing chlorination at Boonton reservoir in Jersey City. The courts deemed the right to chlorinate water a safeguard to public health, and so this paved the way for the rest of the nation’s drinking water supplies.
1912-1914: The Public Health Service Act was passed, which authorized regular surveys and studies of water pollution. The act was aimed at discovering the dangers water could have on human health. In 1914, the act introduced the idea of maximum contaminant levels, but only for water supplies serving interstate transportation.
1962: About fifty years later, the Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards Revision was passed in the United States, which set forth the minimum requirements that public water suppliers must meet.
1972: The Federal Water Pollution Control Act is amended by The Clean Water Act. This outlined specific guidelines for restoring and maintaining all bodies of surface water in the United States.
1974: Congress passed The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The provisions listed in the act held the federal government responsible for maintaining the safety of drinking water on a large scope. Since then, the act was amended three three more times, in 1977, 1986 and most recently in 1996.
Today, drinking water regulation is required at both the federal and state level. To see the full scope of the roles and responsibilities the SDWA has set forth, visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) online.
If you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin and are curious to know just what’s in your drinking water, allow Aquarius Water Conditioning to provide a complimentary water analysis. Kick contaminants to the curb once and for all! Call 1-888-741-9025 today.