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Topic: Native/Aboriginal aproach to water purification  (Read 7022 times)

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Offline kateman

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Native/Aboriginal aproach to water purification
« on: February 24, 2009, 11:05:27 PM »
[First of all, iam sorry if this is in the wrong place, i wasn't sure about it with the topic]

How did native people (anywhere around the world) purify water? It got me interested, since they wouldn't of had much in the way of compounds for purification or at least to destroy pathogens, how did they deal with these problems?

Its very weird how questions can just pop into your head randomly without any explination,
Thanks for your time!

Offline nj_bartel

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Re: Native/Aboriginal aproach to water purification
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 12:31:51 AM »
They likely had pretty good resistance to a lot of the bacteria that was around.  At any rate, they could have boiled it to kill bacteria, and placed a previously boiled leaf canopy over it to let the steam condense down into a container.  But I doubt they did that.

Offline Borek

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Re: Native/Aboriginal aproach to water purification
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 02:21:07 AM »
Wate from natural sources (those not polluted by civillisation, relatively rare these days) is relatively pure, pure enough so that it doesn't require any purification before it can be drank. And don't forget that our immunological system is a pretty robust thing, able to deal with most bacterias and pathogens.

So the short answer is - in most cases they didn't have to purify water, as long as they carefully selected sources.

OTOH, have you seen a dog drinking from the puddle? Dogs do it all the time and they don't die. Do you think their bioogy is that different from ours?

Not that I am proposing you to drink from the next puddle you will see to check it, that's just a gedanken experiment :)

Finally, natives usually know of tricks that we have long forgotten - like adding some kinds of soil/sand/rocks or plants to water in order to change its taste and biological purity.
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Offline kateman

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Re: Native/Aboriginal aproach to water purification
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 02:46:51 AM »
OTOH, have you seen a dog drinking from the puddle? Dogs do it all the time and they don't die. Do you think their bioogy is that different from ours?


Well, dog's lifespands arn't anywhere near that of human's - the effects on their systems shouldn't be compaired like that especially since their dietary needs are different and their digestive system does vary majorly in some points.

Away from that, what were the original types of filters then?
Were plants ever used?

Offline Borek

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Re: Native/Aboriginal aproach to water purification
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 03:45:30 AM »
If dogs don't suit you think about other animals, with similar lifespan to ours. What I am aiming at is that all animals evolved in the hostile environment - but they evolved to survive this hostility. We (humans) are not biologically different, we have evolved in exactly the same way, our bodies use exacly the same mechanisms to defend themselves.

As to your other question - as I already wrote, these tricks are long forgotten ;)

More seriously, you will have to dig deeper to learn something. I am more then sure that I have read about crushed plants added to water by some natives to make it potable, but I don't remember any details, neither about plants, natives nor the source of the information.
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