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4.-That most rivers and streams are polluted by a discharge into them of crude sewage, which practice is highly objectionable.

5.—That, as far as we have been able to ascertain, none of the existing modes of treating town sewage by deposition and by chemicals in tanks appears to affect much change except the separation of the solids and the clarification of the liquids. That the treatment of sewage in this manner, however, effects a considerable improvement, and when carried to its greatest perfection may in some cases be accepted.

6.—That so far as our examination's extend, none of the manufactured manures made by manipulating towns' refuse with or without chemicals pays the contingent costs of such modes of treatment; neither has any mode of dealing with excreta, so as to defray the cost of collection and preparation by a sale of the manure, been brought under our notice.

7.-That town sewage can best and most cheaply be disposed of and purified by the process of land irrigation for agricultural purposes, where local conditions are favourable to its application, but that the chemical value of sewage is greatly reduced to the farmer by the fact that it must be disposed of day by day throughout the entire year, and that its volume is generally greatest when it is of the least service to the land.

8.-That land irrigation is not practicable in all cases, and therefore other modes of dealing with sewage must be allowed.

9.-That towns situate on the sea-coast, or on tidal estuaries, may be allowed to turn sewage into the sea. or estuary, below the line of low water, provided no

nuisance is caused: and that such mode of getting rid

l of sewage may be allowed and justified on the score of economy.

These conclusions are of the utmost importance to the sanitary inspector, inasmuch as, in many instances, he is consulted by property owners as to the best system of closet to adopt in given situations; it is therefore most essential for him to come to some decision upon so important a matter, which is no easy thing to do, without first consulting very carefully the whole of the official government reports, and the writings of eminent sanitarians. Upon a few of these points my mind is quite clear :

1st. That the common privies should be prohibited by law.

2nd. That the “Goux Absorbent Closet” should be adopted where water-closets are not already constructed, but only on condition of their being scavenged by the local sanitary authority.

3rd. That only under special circumstances should water-closets be encouraged, and when adopted in lower class property, the “Macfarlane's, of Glasgow," or “Bacheldor's, of Liverpool," are trough closets, possessing advantages over the ordinary water-closet, especially in properties where one closet is used by more than one tenement, and also when these closets are adopted the flushing of them should be entirely in the hands of the night-soil department.

When we are told that the death-rate of London some two hundred years ago was at the rate of 80 per 1,000 per annum, and now 22, can we for a moment doubt that sanitation has worked a wonderful change?


There is, however, still room for much improvement; many of the simple laws of nature require to be more strictly observed. In the densely populated courts and alleys of our large towns we are able to find sad specimens of human nature, bringing to the mind of those who take time to think, striking proofs of defective sanitary legislation and organization. As to the defects in such legislation, there is, I think, no person who has a better opportunity of observing them than the sanitary inspector.

It is upon this official that the responsibility rests of practically carrying out the ideas and instructions of the medical officer of health, the sanitary authority, and the provisions of the Sanitary Acts. It will, therefore, be interesting for a moment to glance at a few slight defects as examples.

There is one prominent defect to which nearly the whole of the medical officers of health in the country have recently directed attention, that is the want of powers for compulsory registration of cases of infectious disease; and to which, I think, it is only reasonable to add powers to compel sanitary authorities to provide hospital accommodation for infectious diseases. There are many urban authorities which might be mentioned, that have but very imperfect accommodation of this description.

As to the inspecting of offensive trades and nuisances arising from noxious vapours, I shall make a few remarks—inasmuch as the duty of inspecting all works where any offen

offensive trade is carried on is one of such importance as to warrant the appointment of a special inspector for each county, or division of a county, varying as to the number of works therein. Such appointments might be filled by those sanitary inspectors who felt most disposed to turn their attention to that particular branch, and who were competent to pass certain examinations, held by the authority of the Local Government Board, in whose hands the appointments should be vested; and that duplicates of all reports should be sent to the local authority in whose district the works might be situated to which the report referred. Under the present arrangements it often occurs that the time of the inspector is so much taken


with the removal of those nuisances of more frequent occurrence, that he has very little time to devote to this important branch of his duty, which, in itself, should be the sole study of one individual, that is, to be in a position to give sound practical advice and instructions to the proprietors of the large number of offensive trades which are now carried on, to the great injury to health and vegetation. In dividing the labour in this form, it would give an opportunity for a certain number of men to devote their abilities and inventive faculties to one special subject, and thereby become experts in their department: whereas, under the present system the duties are so numerous and important that before a man is thoroughly expert on every subject, he is called away by death, or from old age rendered incapable of service.

In briefly considering the numerous duties of the inspector, and the various subjects with which he is expected to make himself conversant, the contamination of air is the most prominent.

That the air which we breathe in most urban dis.


tricts is highly impure, is a fact scarcely to be disputed; the agents at work, by which this contamination is caused are numerous: such as foul accumulations of filth, often in a state of putrefaction; the sending into our midst of dangerous gases, such as carbonic acid gas, sulphurous acid gas, and chlorine, as the results of coal combustion from our factory chimneys and other works ; also the discharges from our sewers and drains, in the shape of sewer gas, containing a large amount of sulphuretted hydrogen, as the results of imperfect cleansing and ventilation of such sewers and drains. Overcrowding may be also mentioned as one of the most wilful of air contaminations, considering the mode of shutting out of our dwellings every particle of outside air, and thus leaving the inmates to breathe the air which is contaminated by each other.

Next in order may be taken the contamination of our food and water supply, by adulteration of food, diseased meat, &c., and the polluting of our water by sewage matter.

If then, by the prevention of the contamination of air, food, and water, we can save a few fellow-men, from the vast number which perish yearly, is it not an object worthy of the attention of the noblest and most philanthropic men amongst us?

London : Printed by Shaw & Sons, Fetter Lane, E.C.

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