Dangers of Bad Water.
If we take England alone, more deaths are attributable to impure water than to pure, impure and adulterated spirits and alcoholic drinks altogether, and the diseases from which the miserable victims die are as hideous and repulsive as those caused by drink.
Five and twenty years ago, says a writer in The Gentleman’s Magazine, during a most fatal epidemic of typhoid in the West of England, I had to assist the government inspec tor in tracing its cause to its source, and the result was conclusively established as due to impure water. The supply of water as it entered the town was pure, but in many houses the water closets were supplied by the same pipe and cistern as the water for drinking purposes. As the water was turned off during the night to prevent waste, the pipes emptied and subsequently become filled with air poisoned by the foul gases from the closets, and when the town water was turned on in the morning it rapidly absorbed the poisonous air in the pipes.
The outcome was that those houses supplied from this source were decimated by an epidemic of typhoid. In those cases where the inhabitants got their water from wells it was found that they escaped, unless, as in many instances, they procured milk from shops supplied with the tainted water. The whole problem worked out like a sum in arithmetic.