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

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Greenwich 1961

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Greenwich Borough]

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Baiting of Sewers.—The Borough Engineer has kindly supplied
me with the undermentioned information of the treatments carried
out in the Council's sewers in connection with the scheme :—
The Council continued in the use of sodium fiuoracetate in
ready mixed form for the baiting of sewer manholes as adopted in
the previous year. Stringent safety measures were taken for the
protection of the staff handling the materials and each manhole was
clearly marked after baiting to indicate that poison had been used.
In both February and June, 1961, the bait was introduced into
some 1,270 manholes throughout the Borough. The Rodent Operatives
of the Public Health Department handled the material assisted
by the workmen from the Borough Engineer's Department and
baiting is to continue on this basis during the coming year.
A disadvantage of the single treatment of manholes without
pre-baiting, which is not considered necessary when using sodium
fiuoracetate, is that there is no ready assessment available of the
rodent infestation. It is proposed that census baiting will be undertaken
preceding the next sewers' treatment.
Anti-Fly and Anti-Mosquito Campaign.—During the summer
period, April to September, the campaign has continued on
similar lines to previous years. Three men are employed in this
important preventive aspect of the Department's work consisting
of dealing with complaints and carrying out routine inspection and
treatment of sites where breeding may occur. A 5 cwt. van is used
to convey personnel and the necessary appliances and materials.
The major factors to be controlled include house refuse
contained in the dust chutes and dustbins, food shops, cafes and
canteens, static water sites, water butts, derelict baths and tanks,
ponds and ditches, etc.
During the year 43 complaints regarding flies and mosquitoes
were received and a further 8 instances were revealed during survey.
One persistent source of complaint arose from the S.E.G.B.'s allotment
area where, during the summer period, the Bendix outfall left
pockets of stagnant water on the low-lying land which gave rise to
conditions ideally suited for the breeding of mosquitoes. Effective
control was obtained with anti-malarial capsules.
The treatment of house refuse in the dustbins was carried out
by arrangement with the Borough Engineer, a small quantity of
' Gammexane' powder being sprinkled into the dustbins at each
weekly collection. Dust chutes in the numerous blocks of flats
received regular treatment with ' Gammexane' powder by anti-fly

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