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

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St George (Southwark) 1868

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Southwark, The Vestry of the Parish of St. George the Martyr]

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Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health—1867—8.

TABLE No. 7.

1867. Southwark Company—April291867. Lambeth Company-April29
,, ,,May29,, ,,May30
,, ,, June30,, ,,June28
„ „ July26,, ,,July26
,, „ August25,, ,,August26
,, ,, September26,, ,,September26
,, ,, October26,, ,,October27
,, ,, November30,, ,,November31
,, „ December33,, ,,December30
,, ,, January32,, ,,January30
,, ,, February32 33,, ,,February31
,, ,, March,, ,,March29
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The analysis of the Metropolitan waters is still conducted by Professor Frankland,
F.R.S. The Table will show the number of tons of solid impurities in 100,000 tons of the
water of the Lambeth and Southwark Companies. Our supply remains intermittent. It
seems, however, that some of the water companies have expressed their desire to work with
medical officers of health "for improvement in the water supply of the poor," and that
"they are quite prepared on the single condition of effective provision being made against
waste, to add to the number of main supplies." Messrs. Beggs & Son, Southampton-street,
Strand, have manufactured what they call "double valve water waste preventers," which
they assert will answer every demand that can be made. They are simple in construction,
and cannot easily be disarranged. They have one which is intended for passages and
courts, or such like places, and which can be fastened against the wall or other place by
means of a bracket. This will deliver about 2½ gallons each time, and the cost is 36s. To
landlords having blocks of houses, the erection of these would be far better, as well as
cheaper than water-butts They might almost supplant butts. And what a benefit they
would prove; water always on, cool in summer, and no pipes to freeze and burst in the
winter; besides obtaining the water as pure as it leaves the reservoirs. Provincial towns
are better supplied, and with purer water than is the metropolis Thousands of pounds are
spent every year in London, which would be saved, were the water as soft and free from
impurities as it ought to be. The intermittent supply besides its inconvenience and incompleteness,
involves other dangerous liabilities. Dr. Frankland tells us, that in addition to
the well known evils attending the storage of water in butts and cisterns, there is the danger
of the leakage of sewage into the pipes whilst the pressure is withdrawn. He found in
some drawn from the West Middlesex Company rather more than one per cent. of fresh
sewage. It came out on inquiry that a leakage had occurred in one of the mains near a
gully hole: consequently when the water pressure was removed from the main at night,
the sewage gained access into the interior. No chance should exist for an accident like this
to happen. Putting aside the nastiness of the thing, we are incurring great danger in
ordinary times of fever, and in extraordinary times of cholera.
The bake-houses have been visited twice during the year, and the slaughter-houses
and cow-sheds once, according to the requirements of the Metropolis Management Act, and
the Bake-house Regulation Act.

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