DOES RUNNING WATER PURIFY ITSELF ?
A superstition prevails that running water purifies itself, and that, after flowing down some miles or some distance-how far no one ventures positively to assert-the water may be looked upon as pure. That it may be, and probably is chemically pure, we freely admit. But chemical purity is one thing, and bacteriological purity is another, and the typhoid germ is so infinitesimally minute as altogether to escape chemical analysis. Hence, even in chemically pure water may lie hid the seeds of disease and death. Out of many cases illustrated of this point may be quoted that of the water supply of Plymouth. Pa., in which city a typhoid epidemic prevailed some twenty-four years ago. Its cause was the subtle and illusive typhoid microbe. Foecal matter had been thrown upon the snow in the district infected, and this snow, melting in the spring, found its way into the Susquehanna river and the whole town, as well as Pittston, several miles below was ravaged by the disease. Why then should the Mount Kisco, Crotona and New Bedford unsanitary -even unsewered districts on the Croton watershed, with their filthy Italian population not have done their share in polluting the water which is furnished to New York city?