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

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St Mary (Battersea) 1890

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Battersea]

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of new
In respect to new house Drains, which only a
short time ago were allowed to be laid down without
any inspection at all, are now thoroughly examined
by the Inspector of Nuisances before being covered up, who sees
that they are properly laid, pipes jointed, &c. This will do
away with a serious evil which has existed for years past, and
so save the tenant who looks about for a house, and finds one
neatly done up and in every way pleasing to the eye, falling into
one of those death traps from which previously he had no protection
; nothing too detrimental can be said of imperfect drains
running through a house, allowing escape of sewer gas with it,
it is a very frequent cause of the general malaise, and often
times more serious disease, such as diphtheria, typhoid fever,
with which one is constantly brought in contact. In proof of
the effects of bad drainage the case of one of the recent School
Board Buildings may be mentioned.

Summary of Sanitary Operations in West Battersea during the years 1888 and 1889:—

Number of Houses and Premises Inspected12,34212,998
First Notices Served9951,700
Second Notices Served170162
Number of Houses Disinfected and Cleansed after Infectious Diseases185132
Overcrowding Abated .522
Premises Cleansed and Repaired10182
Defective Drains Cleansed and Repaired482427
Sink and Waste Pipes altered to Discharge Outside, over Gullies or Syphon Traps Fixed4491,389
Water Closets Cleansed or Repaired44110
Water Closets, Supply of Water laid on4151,113
Urinals Cleansed74
Accumulation of Manure Removed1426
Cesspools Abolished13
Dustbins Provided149393
Mews and Stables Drained and Paved133
Yards Drained and Paved.184
Leaky House.roofs and Gutters Repaired4074
Houses Supplied with Water175
Cisterns Covered and Repaired160200
Houses Supplied with Disinfectants1,238524
Proceedings Ordered by Vestry63232
Summonses Issued1816
Magisterial Order Obtained and Enforced16