Segments in this Video

Introduction: Clean: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson (02:15)


This segment orients viewers to the topic of clean technology with excerpts from the program.

Clean Streets (03:48)

Steven Johnson travels into the San Francisco sewer system. Many of the sewer lines were constructed over 100 years ago.

Mid-19th Century Chicago (03:54)

Human and animal excrement was commonplace in the streets. Ellis Chesbrough used jackscrews to lift the city in 1860, making room for underground sewer systems.

City Revolution (03:33)

After creating the first underground sewer systems, similar strategies were applied to railroads and electricity.

Water Pollution (01:59)

The first sewers in Chicago drained into Lake Michigan. People did not realize how deadly the water could be.

Storm Water (03:39)

Rainwater can overflow the city's sewer. TARP Project Manager Kevin Fitzpatrick explains how the city manages storm runoff.

Beer Benefits (02:19)

In the mid-19th century, people drank beer throughout the day. The brewing process killed bacteria in the water.

Cholera Outbreak (03:05)

Cholera killed many in London during the 19th century. John Snow doubted the belief that cholera spread through the air.

Cholera Transmission (02:09)

John Snow moved into London and worked on the radical idea that cholera spreads through water.

Influential Map (02:47)

John Snow's map revealed that the deaths were concentrated around one water pump. His map revolutionized epidemiology.

Public Water Supply (02:47)

Today, we have the ability to keep water clean. Johnson visits a local water park.

Chlorine (02:41)

Learn how the water park recycles and cleans the water, making it safe for public use.

Toilet Water (02:25)

When toilets were first introduced, they overwhelmed sewer systems and made drinking water dangerous.

John Leal (03:27)

Leal experimented with ways to kill bacteria in water. He initiated the use of chlorine in drinking water.

Mass Chlorination (01:56)

Leal's chlorination project resulted in a reduction of deaths and an introduction of public water parks.

Bleach (02:34)

Annie Murray, the wife of a Clorox investor, pushed marketing chlorine bleach for home use.

Ultra Clean Revolution (02:25)

In the 1920s, there was a big push for Americans to use new cleaning products. Some people believe that the revolution went too far.

Extreme Clean (04:24)

Johnson visits a Texas Instrument microchip fabrication plant. He undergoes a decontamination process to eliminate particles.

Access to Clean Water (02:12)

Clean technologies transformed our world. Yet, every year many die as a result of no safe water access. Johnson reflects on the clean water revolution.

Credits: Clean: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson (00:30)

Credits: Clean: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson

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Clean: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson

Part of the Series : How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Dirty water has killed more humans than all the wars of history combined, but in the last 150 years, a series of radical ideas, extraordinary innovations and unsung heroes have changed our world. Johnson plunges into a sewer to understand what made a maverick engineer decide to lift the city of Chicago with screw jacks in order to build America’s first sewer system. He talks about John Leal, who deliberately “poisoned” the water supply of 200,000 people when, without authorization, he added chlorine, considered lethal in 1908, into Jersey City’s water and made it safe to drink. This isn’t only about the world becoming a cleaner place — the iPhone, the subway, flat screen TVs and even the bikini are the result of the valiant efforts of the unsung heroes of clean.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL60741

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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