Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

Contact us on email!

Different Methods of Water Filtration and Sanitation Used Throughout History

Living in New York, it is easy to take access to clean drinking water for granted. People don’t understand the luxury they have when opening a tap and taking a sip of fresh water on demand. Clean water access was not always so automatic, and it still isn’t for many parts of the world. The history of water filtration and sanitation is fascinating, unnerving, and quite upsetting. Travel back through the centuries and discover how filtration and sanitation progressed.

Examining the History of Water Filtration in Ancient Civilizations


One of the first cultures to focus on water purification was the Egyptians. In fact, on the tomb walls of Amenophis II and Ramses II, the Egyptians created an instruction manual for purifying water. While the methods were simple, they were pretty impressive for the time.

The simplest method for sanitizing water was to boil the water. The Egyptians would either boil the water in pots or submerge heated iron into the water. They would sift the water through sand and gravel or use porous clay jars to eliminate impurities. Egyptians may have also used charcoal as a rudimentary form of filtration.

Finally, Egyptians used coagulation — a chemical treatment process — to purify water. They used the chemical alum, which separates impurities when added to water, making them easy to remove.


Like in ancient Egypt, India used heat and sunlight to sanitize drinking water. They used copper pots to heat the water faster and for the metal’s purification and antimicrobial properties. Also, they stored water in earthenware for natural cooling and purification.

For filtration, the ancient civilization used cloth bags with charcoal. They are among the first societies to use charcoal as a routine filtration device. In fact, archeologists found evidence of charcoal filtration dating back to India in 2000 B.C.


Ancient Mesopotamia made significant advancements in the history of water filtration. While the society used methods popular in Egypt and India, like boiling for purification and charcoal filtration, Mesopotamia also created underground aqueducts and cisterns for water storage and filtration.

Mesopotamian societies used cisterns to collect rainwater. The devices supplied water to citadels and have been around since the Neolithic period, about 12,000 years ago.

Aqueducts are systems of canals, ditches, pipes, and tunnels used to move water. The Babylonians established sophisticated canal systems in the 8th century B.C. In the 7th century B.C., they built a canal to bring water to Nineveh, which had to cross a 280-meter bridge.

Greece and Rome

As relatively advanced civilizations, Greece and Rome produced influential thinkers and inventors. Both cultures praised and valued education, encouraging free thinking and invention. Because of the structure of the society, it made several advancements in water filtration, sanitation, and hygiene.

Ancient Greece and Rome influenced the history of water filtration and sanitation with their ingenuity. The societies built springs, aqueducts, public fountains, and bathhouses. They also promoted the use of sand and charcoal filtration in domestic settings.

Exploring Technological Advancements in Water Filtration and Sanitation

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution saw significant strides in water filtration and sanitation technologies and processes. In 1804, Scottish Engineer John Gibb invented large-scale sand filtration to provide clean water for his plant. Later in the same century, Robert Thom found a way to use simple wool, sponge, and charcoal filters for municipal applications; he had to alter and improve the design, upping the scale. In the 1890s, they began constructing large sand filters to ensure public health.

During the Industrial Revolution, countries began adopting large-scale public sanitation systems. Countries developed and constructed massive sewer systems to separate wastewater from clean water. The focus on sanitation radically improved public health and living conditions in cities.

20th and 21st Centuries

Through the 20th and 21st centuries, developed nations continued to advance the history of water filtration with techniques and tools like coagulation and flocculation, activated carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet irradiation. Coagulation and flocculation are techniques that help treat and remove suspended solids in water. The processes combined to speed up the time it takes for particles to settle, allowing for more rapid and thorough filtration.

Active carbon filtration uses active carbon to reduce chlorine and other contaminants in tap water or drinking water. Besides chlorine, active carbon filters may remove:

  • – Fluorine
  • – Radon
  • – Hydrogen sulfide
  • – Micropollutants
  • – Unwanted odors and tastes

Reverse osmosis is a water treatment process that uses pressure in combination with a semipermeable membrane to filter out contaminants from water. The technique’s pressure compels water molecules to pass through the membrane, eliminating or decreasing the levels of almost all contaminants. Unfortunately, because the filtration method is so effective, it can also remove solids, including minerals like calcium and magnesium, which are beneficial.

Finally, ultraviolet irradiation is one of the safest methods for treating drinking water. The technique doesn’t leave any residue from treatment, leaving valuable minerals or nutrients intact. Primarily, UV filtration is a type of electromagnetic radiation that operates at a germicidal wavelength, disrupting the DNA in microorganisms and preventing them from reproducing. The light kills bacteria, viruses, and protozoa but doesn’t remove them. The effectiveness of UV filtration depends on several factors:

  • – Exposure time
  • – Lamp intensity
  • – Water quality

Understanding Continued Challenges of Water Filtration in the World

Persistent Problems in Developing and Developed Nations

Although significant advancements have occurred throughout the history of water filtration and sanitation, many countries still struggle with access to clean drinking water. According to the United Nations World Water Report, around 2 billion people worldwide cannot access clean and safe drinking water. Beyond that, 3.6 billion people, roughly 46% of the world’s population, lack necessary sanitation services.

The problem affects developing and developed nations, including the U.S. Over 2 million Americans lack access to clean drinking water. Additionally ,over 46 million people in the country live with water insecurity.

Moving Beyond the History of Water Filtration

Install Whole-Building Filtration Systems

The history of water filtration is fascinating because of human ingenuity. It is also heart-wrenching because, despite all the advancements, too many people still lack access to clean water. While the issue is concerning and sad, you can ensure that your tenants never experience life without clean water or working facilities. Call Sanitary Plumbing at 212-734-5000 to discuss whole-building water filtration or to schedule a plumbing inspection or repair.

Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
  • Transactional information (such as lease terms, lease parties);
  • Computer sign-on data, statistics on page views, and traffic to and from the Website; and
  • Other information, including IP address and other web log information.

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: