100 Fixing the Calendar 1582


   Water Purification 1829



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46   Water Purification 1829 
A PERSON consumes 16,000 gallons of water in a lifetime. But before 1829, when the Chelsea Water Works of London installed its landmark slow-sand filter on the Thames River, no one had effectively cleaned it. Even after 1829, most drinking water remained unfiltered and epidemics of cholera and typhoid made sanitation an urgent issue. Finally, in 1854, physician John Snow, though ignorant of bacteria carried in water, traced an outbreak of cholera to a pump near a sewer. The filtration of drinking water (plus the use of chlorine) is probably the most significant public health advance of the millennium. 



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