The Ten Books on Architecture, 8.4.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 8.3.28 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 8.4.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

4The trial and proof of water are made as follows. If it be of an open and running stream, before we lay it on, the shape of the limbs of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood should be looked to and considered. If they are strongly formed, of fresh colour, with sound legs, and without blear eyes, the supply is of good quality. Also, if digging to a fresh spring, a drop of it be thrown into a Corinthian vessel made of good brass, and leave no stain thereon, it will be found excellent. Equally good that water will be, which, after boiling in a cauldron, leaves no sediment of sand or clay on the bottom.

Morgan translation

4Springs should be tested and proved in advance in the following ways. If they run free and open, inspect and observe the physique of the people who dwell in the vicinity before beginning to conduct the water, and if their frames are strong, their complexions fresh, legs sound, and eyes clear, the springs deserve complete approval. If it is a spring just dug out, its water is excellent if it can be sprinkled into a Corinthian vase or into any other sort made of good bronze without leaving a spot on it. Again, if such water is boiled in a bronze cauldron, afterwards left for a time, and then poured off without sand or mud being found at the bottom of the cauldron, that water also will have proved its excellence.