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

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Lambeth 1892

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Lambeth]

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house to house inspection. The houses, when dirty,should be
cleansed. The walls of the courts, yards, areas, passages, and
alleys should be limewashed. The pavement, where defective,
should be repaired, and the pavement and yard gullies scoured
and flushed with an abundant supply of water.
Moreover, accumulations of dust, or other filthy material not
usually coming under that designation, should be removed by the
Parish scavengers. It is desirable that the removal of dust should
take place throughout the Parish at more frequent intervals. In the
densely populated districts it is imperative that it should be removed
not less frequently than twice a week. It is also desirable that the
courts, alleys, passages, and less frequented streets, as well as the
main arteries of traffic, should receive the daily attention of the Parish
sweeper. I would also submit that periodical inspection be made
of all places where manure is collected or stored : at cowhouses,
stableyards. and mews, and the frequent removal of accumulations
should be strictly enforced. That the dust yards be visited daily,
in order that legal action may be immediately taken upon the
observance of any carelessness or neglect on the part of the contractor
or person in charge.
(b) House drains laid in accordance with methods of construction
commonly in favour a few years ago are seldom sufficiently
sound to withstand the tests usually employed. The faults, when
such are found, frequently consist in imperfect connexions
between the pipes, admitting of the escape of sewer gas. At the
time drains of this class were laid it was not considered necessary
to envelope the pipes in a bed of concrete. Methods of interception,
now universally practised, had not been discovered. As the
greater number of London houses were built at a period before
the sanitary authorities exercised strict supervision over the construction
of house drains, it is not a matter of surprise that the
drains in a large per centage of houses in every parish are in a
faulty state.
Although much has been done in Lambeth to alter this undesirable
condition, there is yet much that remains to be done. It

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