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

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Shoreditch 1879

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Shoreditch, Parish of St. Leonard]

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owners having their work generally well done. A few instances
are again mentioned in detail, to show the manner of procedure,
and the nature of the work accomplished.
model dwellings there are 168 suites of apartments, each
suite having a separate water supply, and closet accommodation,
situate in the scullery. None of the closets were
properly supplied with water, so as to flush the pans
effectually. The cisterns in which drinking water was
stored were all uncovered, placed over the closets close to the
ceilings, and immediately under the closet of the apartments
above. Several of the tenants complained that their drinking
water was polluted with foul liquids dripping from the
ceilings, by reason of defective closet arrangements, and
many of the ceilings bore evidence as to the fact.
Notices were served on the owners requiring the
abatement of these nuisances, in compliance with which the
whole of the cisterns have been removed. Water is now
supplied from tanks placed on the roofs, and the closets are
now efficiently flushed by waste preventor cisterns distinct
from the household supply in each case.
houses were generally dirty and dilapidated. Water for
drinking purposes was stored in small and foul butts. The
closets and back yards were in the foulest condition. The
drains, formed partly of pipes and partly of brickwork, were
only a few inches below the surface of the yards. They were
periodically blocked, causing thereby great nuisances.
It was represented to the Vestry that these houses
could not be properly drained, except by the provision of a
new sewer in Hare Walk. The Vestry thereupon directed a
12" pipe sewer to be so provided, which has been done.
The owner has drained the houses in connection therewith in