Abel Wolman

Abel Wolman

In Maryland, a Baltimorean, Abel Wolman, conducted water quality studies on the Potomac River for the U.S. Public Health Service in 1913. He then earned his degree in engineering in 1915 from Johns Hopkins University. After graduation, Wolman became a sanitary engineer for the Maryland Department of Public Health where he made a significant contribution by developing refinements to water chlorination procedures.

Beginning in 1918, Wolman collaborated with chemist Linn Enslow to study the elimination of pathogens in water treated with chlorine. By 1923, the pair determined chlorine’s absorption rate in water and established a formula for using chlorine to make drinking water safe for consumption.