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

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Tottenham 1947

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Tottenham]

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Drainage and Sewerage.
The district is drained on the dual system of soil and surface
water. Soil sewage is pumped into the London County Council
system from the sewage works situated at the south-east end of the
district. Surface water flows into various streams and then to the
River Lee. Complaints regarding pollution of the Lee through
these streams have been dealt with in collaboration with the
Eorough Engineer's Department.
Closet Accommodation.
Closet accommodation in the Borough is on the water carriage
system, but it is of some concern that adequate provision is not
always made at the numerous small factory or industrial premises
which seem almost to "spring up over night." In many such
cases closet accommodation is non-existent, and it is to be hoped
that more effective action can be taken under Town Planning powers,
to prevent this mushroom growth.
Sanitary Administration.
The development of legislation dealing with the environmental
life of the community, has been a gradual process. Commencing in
1848, the Public Health Act of that year has been regarded as the
genesis of modern public health legislation, continuing by way of
new Acts and amendments until 1936. The most notable legislation
prior to 1936, was the Act so often described as the "Great Charter
of Public Health," viz., The Public Health Act, 1875.
Between the years 1875 to 1936, various Acts and amendments
were passed, but in 1936, Royal assent was given to the Public
Health Act, 1936, and this Act continues to be the basis of the work
carried out by the department in relation to general public health
matters.
Legislation dealing with specific subjects also provides a basis
for work in connection with housing, food and food premises, and
factories. These Acts include the Housing Act, 1936, Food and
Drugs Act, 1938, Factories Act, 1937, together with subordinate
legislation too numerous to mention, but all aimed at securing
improvement in the environmental conditions of the public.
In each and every annual report for this borough, statistics have
shown that improvements have taken place and progress maintained.
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