How Did the Ancient Romans Purify Water?

March 9, 2019 1:02 am Leave your thoughts

The Roman Empire is known for beautiful structures, strong armies and ahead-of-their-time innovation. Among their many accomplishments, ancient Romans enjoyed a complex system of aqueducts that provided water for the people. Did they achieve the same quality as today’s water purification in Cincinnati, OH? Probably not.

Still, their system was pretty impressive. Their baths and aqueducts have been studied by scholars worldwide. Their accomplishments remain impressive to this day. Below is an overview of the ancient Roman water system. While it doesn’t include modern ozone disinfection in Cincinnati, OH, you’ll probably find that it offered a lot for its time.

The Sources

The Romans knew they would need to import their water to avoid the use of polluted sources. Rivers, wells and local springs could provide water, but the many people of the large city would quickly pollute these water bodies. Instead, they searched for springs outside of the city and brought the water to Rome.

To find these springs, Romans would look for green grass during dry seasons or certain vegetation growth. Many times, Romans would have to dig far underground to access the springs. They would then build a tunnel to start an aqueduct.

The Aqueducts

To bring spring water to the people of Rome, engineers and architects built the aqueducts. These formed a slope system that used gravity to bring water to the city. Tunnels built to start aqueducts were up to 20 feet below the surface. Some aqueducts were entirely underground.

The Arcades

In some cases, the aqueducts stretched over a piece of land that dipped low on the landscape. Since the aqueducts functioned on gravity, this dip was overcome with arcades. These bridges carried the water over the low land. These arcades, with their beautiful arches, have become some of the most distinguished structures of the ancient Romans.

The Filtration

The ancient Romans didn’t have chemicals like we can use for water purification in Cincinnati, OH. Instead, they used settling basins and air exposure. The basins were a pool of water where the water would slow down. This slowing allowed impurities such as sand to drop out of the water as it moved. Zigzags built into the aqueducts further encouraged a slowing of the water, which would remove impurities.

The aqueducts also allowed water to be exposed to air. This aeration improved the quality of the water.

Manual removal of impurities was also used. Tunnel shafts were equipped with hand- and footholds to allow access to the depths. The water flow would be temporarily shut off, and a person would climb into a tunnel and haul up impurities by the bucketful.

Modern Solutions

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way with water purification since the ancient Roman times. Ultra Pure Water Technologies has been providing top-quality water purification services, including ozone disinfection in Cincinnati, OH, throughout the state since 1999. We specialize in the sale, design, installation and maintenance of commercial and industrial water pre-treatment and filtration systems. Contact our team today to discover what solutions for water purification in Cincinnati, OH we can offer for your site.

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