Water Purification History

15 October 2014


The history of water purification is one that is endlessly fascinating. By studying wider scientific breakthroughs throughout history, you can see how water filtration develops. Initially, filtering water was all about improving the taste. The link between water and disease had not yet been discovered. With the discovery of waterborne diseases, the focus soon shifted to methods of water purification where harmful microbes could be removed from the water supply. Today, technology has moved on so much that through a combination of ultra-fine filters and ion exchange units, people can now enjoy water that is 98-99% pure in their own home. The interactive timeline below charts the history of water purification.


History of Water Purification Timeline


Use the arrows to navigate through the timeline.

As you now know, the links between water quality and health have long been known. In recent years, the advances in water purification technology means that you can now benefit from the most advanced water filtration in your home and drinking water that is the purest it has ever been. For more information on Aquatec’s cutting-edge purification systems please contact us today.



The following sources were instrumental to the compiling of this timeline. Thanks to the authors and their rigorous research.

Moses Nelson Baker – The Quest for Pure WaterThe History of Water Purification from the Earliest Records to the Twentieth Century, Volume 1 American Water Works Assn 1944

M.N Baker and Michael J Taras The Quest for Pure Water: A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1 and 2. AWWA. 1981.

History of Slow Sand Filtration from the WHO

History of Water Filtration

Water Quality Legislation from OFWAT

John Snow and Cholera