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

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London County Council 1913

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Main Drainage.
sewers in times of heavy rainfall, and at various points on both banks of the Thames there are storm
overflows which can be utilised at certain states of the tide. Pumping stations have also been erected
for the sole purpose of pumping storm water into the river and, in addition, arrangements are made
for discharging storm water by means of auxiliary engines at the Western and North Woolwich sewage
pumping stations. The flood relief scheme of 1904, to which reference has been made in previous
reports, is nearing completion, though certain other works are still required, but it is not anticipated
that the estimate of the cost (£795,000) of the scheme will be exceeded. One of the most important of
these is the enlargement of the storm water pumping station in the Isle of Dogs. The existing plant
consists of two steam-driven reciprocating pumps, and it is proposed that the station shall be extended so
as to accommodate six centrifugal pumps driven by gas. The cost is roughly estimated to amount to
£30,000. Following the practice adopted in similar cases, it has been decided to let a contract for
the engines and settle the leading dimensions and afterwards to arrange the new building accordingly.
Tenders for the engines have therefore been invited.
When the Falcon Brook pumping station was erected, only one-half the pumping power for which
the station was designed was installed, but in order to obtain the best advantage for the expenditure
incurred and to meet the growing needs of the surrounding district, the Council on 7th May, 1912,
decided to complete the equipment of the station, at an estimated cost of £9,500. Contracts were made
for the supply, delivery and erection of three gas engines and for the supply, delivery and erection of
three centrifugal pumps during the year 1912, and during the current year the tender of W. H. Lorden
and Son, Limited, amounting to £1,112 for the construction of the foundations for the engines and
pumps was accepted.
In addition to the works included in the enlargement and flood relief schemes which had for their
object specifically or incidentally the relief of sewers in the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth—
(i.) the Wandsworth and Battersea relief sewer; (ii.) the Falcon Brook pumping station, and (iii.) the
southern low-level sewer No. 2—it has been found necessary owing to the very large development of
building operations in the borough since the schemes were prepared to undertake further works as
follows :—
(i.) A relief sewer from the junction of Balham High-road and Tooting Bec-road to
the river Graveney; (ii.) the improvement of certain portions of the waterway of the river
Graveney ; and (iii.) a sewer (the Wandle-valley sewer) with branches, from the Wandle
sewer extension near Mitcham-road to the Wandle sewer at Summerstown to relieve the
low lying areas in the valley of the rivers Wandle and Graveney.
A contract amounting to £34,319 has been let for (i.) and (ii.), and work to the value of about
£25,000 had been completed at the end of the year. The preliminary work of making drawings, etc., in
connection with the Wandle-valley sewer, which is estimated to cost £100,000, is in hand.
Section 9 of the London County Council (General Powers) Act, 1894, prohibits the discharge
into any sewer of the Council, or any sewer or drain communicating therewith, of any chemical or manufacturing
or trade or other liquid refuse, or any waste steam, condensing water, heated water, or other
liquid of a temperature exceeding 110 deg. Fahr., which either alone, or in combination with other
matters or liquid in a sewer, may cause a nuisance, or involve danger or risk of injury to the health
of persons entering the sewers, or be injurious to the structure or materials of the sewers or works of
the Council. Copies of an order made by the Council on 20th December, 1898, under section 10
of the Act, prohibiting the discharge of dangerous substances into sewers, were served during
the year upon a number of persons licensed under the Petroleum Acts, and carrying on businesses such
as might produce residues which would be dangerous if discharged into sewers.
By Sections 204 and 68 of the Metropolis Management Acts of 1855 and 1862 respectively, the
erection in, on, over, or under any sewer of a building, wall, bridge, fence, etc., without the previous
consent of the Council is prohibited. During the year 31 licences to carry out works, or to retain
existing work over sewers, were granted.
After the opening of the new engine-house at Abbey Mills pumping station, steps were at once
taken to overhaul the existing machinery at the station. The isolating valves in the beam engine-house
which shut off the various sections of the discharge culverts were in need of overhaul and repair. Owing
to their construction, they could not be opened without shutting down the whole of the beam engines,
and until the new plant was available, this was not possible. There are five valves concerned and the
tender of Hunter and English, Ltd., amounting to £1,450 for the work was accepted.
In connection with the proposed extension of the Hackney Metropolitan Borough Council's
electricity generating station at Clapton, it was decided to divert that portion of the Marsh sewer, which
otherwise would have been situated under the new buildings. The Borough council agreed to pay twothirds
of the cost of diverting the sewer and, in view of the condition of the old sewer, the Council
agreed to pay the remaining one-third, which was estimated to be about equivalent to the cost of repairing
the old sewer. The tender of Mr. Daniel T. Jackson amounting to £1,350 for the work was accepted.
Certain modifications were subsequently made and it is anticipated that the cost will be below the
amount of the tender.
Other works of repair, etc., undertaken during the year, and the expenditure sanctioned therefor
in each case were as follows :—
Northern Out fall.—Renewal of water mains, £1,760; repairs to pier, £1,200; new locomotive
crane, £675; new locomotive, £615.
Southern Outfall.—-New valves for beam engines, £405.
North Woolwich Pumping Station.—Overhaul of engines and pumps, £150.
23610 HH
into sewers.
Building over
Repairs, etc.

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