• Nazih K. Shammas
  • Inder Jit Kumar
  • Shoou-Yuh Chang
  • Yung-Tse Hung
Part of the Handbook of Environmental Engineering book series (HEE, volume 3)


Humans knew the technique of sedimentation since time immemorial. They had learned from Mother Nature that when river waters come to rest in ponds and lakes they become much clearer. Whenever they had to drink water from rivers carrying silt and other suspended particles, they let it rest a while before drinking. The technique of sedimentation was used in the construction of prehistoric water works. According to Babbit and Doland (1) the history of water works structures, which mainly consisted of a reservoir to store water and to remove suspended particles, and a system of carrying water from the reservoir to populated areas, are found in the excavations of prehistoric ruins. The remains of Lake Moeris, which was one of the largest reservoirs of the Nile Valley, indicate its construction dates back to about 2000 BC. The Romans are known to have had an elaborate system of aqueducts, reservoirs, public baths, and public fountains for their water supply. Public water supplies in the United States date back to 1652 in Boston and to about 1732 at Schaefferstown, PA (2).


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nazih K. Shammas
    • 1
  • Inder Jit Kumar
    • 2
  • Shoou-Yuh Chang
    • 3
  • Yung-Tse Hung
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate Environmental Engineering ProgramLenox Institute of Water TechnologyLenox
  2. 2.Eustance & Horowitz, P.C., Consulting EngineersCircleville
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNorth Carolina A&T State UniversityGreensboro
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringCleveland State UniversityCleveland

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