CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF WATER.
In the 1882 report of the United States National Board of Health Prof. Mallett, who made extensive investigations into the methods of water analysis, says: “It is not possible to decide absolutely upon the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of a drinking water by the mere use of any of the processes examined for the estimation of organic matter or its constituents,” More, therefore, is needed than the “ammonia trace” of the chemist’s report (dreaded as proof of animal matter or excrement) to prove unwholesomeness. For example, fresh caught rain water, which may be called the sewage of the atmosphere, often contains far more ammonia than a really dangerous pond or stagnant river water, while the nitrogen distilled from a water way have come from an organic matter perfectly harmless or from one virulently poisonous. Charles Smart, in has article on “Water” in ”The Reference Handbook of the Medical Science,” writes: “But the important question, Is the water wholesome or unwholesome? cannot receive a positive answer from the records of analysis.”