Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Water Filtration Solutions: Are We Better Than the Mayans?

Humans have known for thousands of years that clean water is essential for survival. This is still true in the 21st century here in New York City. Here’s a look at how the ancient Mayans filtered their water, along with some contemporary water filtration solutions available today for property owners and managers.

The Dangers of Unfiltered Water

Contaminated water kills

Today, we treat water used for drinking, washing, and cleaning. However, it was not that long ago that people drank unfiltered water. Although several ancient cultures knew how to successfully filter water, much of that knowledge was lost during the Dark Ages, and drinking impure water was practiced routinely well into the 20th century. Many countries around the world still do not have safe drinking water and must consume bottled water that is filtered where it is packaged.

The dangers of contaminated water are many, and the list has actually gotten longer since the Industrial Revolution. Water that hasn’t been filtered may contain:

  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Human and animal waste
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Fertilizers
  • Industrial chemicals

These elements can cause poisoning, cancer, and other long-term ailments, as well as dysentery, a general term for various intestinal infections. These infections can result in vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and even death. According to UNICEF, dirty water and poor sanitation kill over 5,000 children each day worldwide.

The Mayan Approach to Water Filtration

Effective and ahead of its time

We know that the ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians all had water filtration systems. More recently, archaeologists discovered that the Mayans of Central America also had water filtration technology, and it was actually superior to the water filtration used by other civilizations.

In what was the city of Tikal 2,000 years ago, located in present-day Guatemala, a reservoir containing zeolite and quartz was discovered in the rainforest. These minerals are not found in that region, but they are known to be effective at removing contaminants like microbes and heavy metals from water. They are so good at that job that both zeolite and quartz are used in modern-day water filtration systems. The reservoir at Tikal is considered the oldest example of water purification in the Western Hemisphere and the oldest known in the world for using zeolite in the decontamination process.

Modern Water Filtration Solutions

Municipal water treatment

Nowadays, most municipalities have city-wide water filtration, performed at centralized locations. There are various chemicals and mechanical methods used in this process, depending on what is needed to clean the water. As mentioned above, techniques similar to those used by the Mayans are frequently employed.

New York City has been very lucky in that its water supply is largely quite pure, and only about 10 percent of it must go through a filtration process. The water is aggressively sampled and tested to ensure it remains safe. Money has been dedicated to preserving the water system and protecting it from contamination.

Water filtration for large buildings

In spite of the cleanliness of New York’s water, some people still prefer to filter it. They want to remove any chlorine from water that is treated, as well as odors and sediment or metals from old piping. They may also desire to get rid of minerals that, while not harmful, cause hard water scale to build up in pipes, boilers, and other building components. Therefore, some apartment and large commercial buildings use water filtration systems for the entire property. We can help determine if a whole building water filtration system is appropriate for you.

Single-residence water filtration options

Sometimes it’s not possible to provide water filtration solutions for the entire building. In that case, or for single-family homes, duplexes, and the like, individualized water treatment alternatives make a better choice.

Faucet mount (AKA countertop) filters attach to faucets, are easy to install, and are relatively inexpensive. They remove a surprising amount of materials from water. Many remove lead, which is an issue for older buildings. Filters need to be changed after a set amount of time or water volume treated.

Undercounter filters perform a similar function to faucet mount filters. They only work with certain types of sinks and faucets, however, and are slightly more expensive. The best undercounter basic filters are three-stage filters that provide superior bacteria elimination. Even better are six-stage reverse osmosis filters, which users often prefer because they make the water taste better.

Other types of in-unit water filters include:

  • Shower filters
  • Washing machine inline filters
  • Humidifier filters

Call Sanitary Plumbing to Improve the Quality of Your Building’s Water

New York City’s hyper-local, blue-chip plumbing experts

If you or your tenants are not happy with the quality of the water in your building, Sanitary Plumbing is here to help. We can consult with you on the pros and cons of various water filtration solutions, including whole-building filtration systems and in-unit options. Don’t suffer from mineral scale buildup, poor sudsing, or bad tasting water when you don’t have to. Call us at 212-734-5000, or use our online form today to schedule an appointment.

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

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 Omnia Mechanical Group, 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 Omnia Mechanical Group. 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: