London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Fulham 1919

Annual report of the Medical Officer of Health for the year 1919

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Nuisance from Margarine Factory.—Much trouble
has been caused by the discharge of fat into the sewers
from the Margarine Factory in Townmead Road,
which caused the partial blockage of the sewer and
the drains of some adjoining houses. Additional
fat interceptors are being put in under the supervision
of your Drainage Inspector which should prevent
the continuance of the nuisance.
Scavenging.—Removal of House Refuse.—Owing to
labour troubles, and the difficulty of disposing of the
refuse consequent on the repair and partial disuse
of the destructor, the service for the removal of house
refuse was during the greater part of the year most
unsatisfactory, and great numbers of complaints were
received of refuse not having been removed for some
weeks. Towards the end of the year, however, there
was a distinct improvement and this is being maintained,
but a more frequent collection in the summer
months and from " flats " where the storage accommodation
is often inadequate, is needed. A more liberal
interpretation of what constitutes "house refuse" is,
as has been before pointed out, also needed, as we not
infrequently have complaints of such things as old
mattresses, often offensive and verminous, being left in
the yards of houses owing to the refusal of the dustmen
to remove them except on payment, on the ground that
they are not "house refuse." It would appear that
such things are covered by the definition of house refuse
in the Public Health (London) Act, where it is said to
mean ashes, "rubbish" and filth, but be that as it
may, it seems hardly worth while for the sanitary
authority to strain the point, and, for the sake of a
few pence, haggle over the question of the responsibility
for the removal of filthy rubbish.
Destruction of Rats. Rat Week.—Efforts were made
to organize, in accordance with the request of the
Board of Agriculture, concerted measures for the destruction
of rats during the week ended October 25th.
The Sanitary Inspectors gave all the assistance they
could to the occupiers and owners of premises known