Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Port of London]
SECTION II-AMOUNT OF SHIPPING ENTERING THE DISTRICT DURING THE YEAR
|Ships from||Number||Tonnage||Number Inspected||Number of ships reported as having, or having had during the voyage infectious disease on board.|
|By the Port Medical Officer||By the Port Health Inspector|
SECTION III- CHARACTER OF SHIPPING AND TRADE DURING THE Y EAR
|Passenger Traffic||Number of Passengers —||Inwards 82,300|
|Number of Passengers —||Outwards 109,100|
|Cargo Traffic||Principal Imports||All types of produce and merchandise.|
|Principal Ports from which ships arrive. The Port of London trades with all parts of the world.|
SECTION IV-INLAND BARGE TRAFFIC
Numbers and tonnage using the district and places served by the traffic.
These barges are of all types and are registered annually with the Port of London Authority.
They number approximately 7,000 and their tonnage is some 500,000 tons.
The traffic of these crafts extends throughout the length of the Port while a number of them
are employed carrying goods and merchandise via the canals to all parts of the country.
SECTION V-WATER SUPPLY
1. Source of supply for—
(a) The District — No Change
(b) Shipping — No Change
2. Reports of tests for contamination — No Change
3. Precautions taken against contamination of hydrants and hosepipes — No Change
4. Number and sanitary condition of water boats and powers of control by the Authority—
There were fourteen water boats working in the Port during the year. Water boats are registered
annually by the Port of London Authority and such registration is made conditional upon
the report of the Medical Officer of Health of the Port as to the fitness of the craft for the
carriage of drinking water as also upon the purity of the water thus carried. To this end sampling
is carried out from time to time.
CONTAMINATION OF SHIP'S DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES
There are several ways by which the drinking water aboard ship may be contaminated, some
are temporary and intermittent, others may be continuous owing to malpractice or some permanent
feature of the construction.
In most cases the port health inspector is able to intercept and cause a correction, but
where the storage installation is a permanent defect, he is almost helpless apart from indicating
Such circumstances have been encountered with tankers, not of recent construction, where
drinking water storage has been associated with the water ballasting compartments normally
comprising the forepeak and afterpeak tanks. It has been the custom to use these tanks for
ballast water or drinking water according to circumstances and the danger from contamination has
been increased by using the ballast water and deck-wash water lines, in conjunction with the
general service pump in the pump-room, to transfer the stored water from the peak tanks to the
daily-service domestic tanks.
As any change of structural installation is the prerogative of the Ministry of Transport and
Civil Aviation, this dangerous practice was brought to the notice of the Ministry who appreciated
the circumstances at once. As a direct result of this intervention and discussion, it is gratifying
to know that Instructions have been circulated by the Ministry to Shipowners and Masters in order
to minimise the incidence of contamination.