Drinking water can be purified, in many different ways. Natural spring water which is really just rainwater filtered and “purified” through ground water. People demand more from their household water. Many of the different products used to purified in the home can be thought of as ways to remove the typical impurities found in tap water. Tap water has been in Western world’s homes since the 19th century. Beginning in urban centers tap water was a huge improvement over existing wells, considering many cities of the 19th century were located on old pre-industrial sites often near significant bodies of water.
Considering the 19th century’s rapid industrialization and population growth, water quickly became polluted and in areas near saltwater the rapid draw down of well water lowered water tables and saltwater encroached. The advent of reservoir systems and piping started naturally enough with the higher social classes and quickly cascaded down to the working classes, drastically improved access to water. The new systems of water delivery by pipes, aqueducts and reservoirs substantially increased the quantity of water to the urban centers. Not to be underestimated and yet significant, is the increased qualitative improvements in water. Where once people relied on muddy and brackish water; now they had fresh clean water, often piped from areas with low population density and ready sources of water. This new running water or tap water, was arguably one of the defining moments in human history. With guarantee access to water cities could grow, labor could diversify and wealth could be created.
Learning about the history of tap water is important especially if you want to appreciate more of the simple things we have now. This can also lead to more appreciation on the importance of drinking water. Of course, if you are dealing with contaminated tap water at home, the best solution would be to get a reliable home water filter system.
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