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

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St James's 1867

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St James's, Westminster]

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some cause or other the Sewer has failed to perform
its functions, and instead of discharging its contents,
retains them until a stoppage of a house drain or
drains occurs, and forces the Vestry to adopt such
measures as will render the Sewer in a fit and
proper condition.
One great cause of these stoppages is want of
fall in the Sewer, and in St. James's Parish this
is especially the case with those Sewers running
cast and west; those that run from north to
south, have a most ample fall, but even in some of
these such as Little Windmill Street and Cambridge
Street, serious stoppages have happened by a vast
accumulation were several: one was, that at
the time the Sewer was built, openings or eyes
covered with pices of wood, were left for the
purpose of connecting the house drains at some
future period, which it was expected would have
lasted long enough or until the connection was
made; it turned out subsequently, however, that it
was too much trouble to find these eyes, or from
some cause they were not found, the drains
were otherwise constructed, and in course of time
the pieces of wood decaying, the rats commencing