Hippocrates: The Father of Water Filters
Whether you click-on your filtered water at the tap, fill your glass from a filtered pitcher, or take advantage of a conveniently-placed water dispenser to quench your thirst- you're taking advantage of a technology that has evolved since the 4th century BC. Not just a Greek physician and the Father of Western Medicine, but the Father of Water Filters, too, Hippocrates was the first person to delve into water treatment. Early records tell of Hippocrates's advisement to first boil water to improve the taste and then filtering it through a cloth bag which came to be known as a Hippocrates Sleeve. In Egypt and China they put alum into tubs of water to clarify it while a mixture of hot sand and gravel was the preferred treatment in India. Other methods commonly used in ancient times included using copper, iron, and even plants like water lily roots. In the 19th century when it was discovered that diseases like cholera, typhoid and hepatitis, among others, were spread through unfiltered drinking water supplies, large-scale water treatment became even more necessary. Slow sand filters seemed to be the way to go for a long time and were used in Lindon since 1855. The slow sand filters were introduced to the United States in 1870 but it wasn't until 1909 that liquid chlorine was developed for the disinfection of drinking water supplies. These days we have a variety of different water filters: granular activated carbon, metallic alloy, microporous ceramic- the list goes on and on. Water purification technology as we know it simply wouldn't exist if it weren't for Hippocrates. So next time you're downing a glass of clean, cold drinking water, pour one out for the Father of the Water Filter, too!