Objections to Water Pollution.
Eugene H. Porter, State commissioner of health, announces that among the many objections to the pollution of the State’s natural water courses there arc three reasons that stand out most prominently, and which, in fact, embrace all the reasons advanced for preventing the defilement of lakes and rivers. He gives as these reasons the protection of public health, the prevention of public nuisances and the safeguarding of riparian right. lie says:
“Not all municipalities may secure public water supplies from springs and mountain streams flow ing from uninhabited regions, and so, beyond doubt, the danger to public health resulting from the unrestricted pollution of streams is the most important reason on both moral and economic grounds for demanding the purification of sewage.
“Putrefaction conditions and other objectionable effects are set up in streams which have received organic matter and other wastes in excess of the capacity of the streams to properly digest or dilute the amount of sewage and wastes that has been discharged in its crude state into the streams. The objections to public nuisances of this character are based principally on aesthetic grounds, but the control and suppression of such general unsanitary and objectionable conditions, as well as supervision over the purity of public water supplies, is properly placed with the public health authorities.
“In general, it may he said that the greatest damage to riparian rights and the most widely felt interference with the use of streams for manufacturing and agricultural purposes arise from the discharge of untreated industrial wastes rather than from the discharge of domestic sewage.
A commission has been appointed in West Virginia to investigate the causes of pollution of several rivers, and to devise means for stopping the pollution. It has investigated the Gauley river thus far, going as far as Richwood, where it found a thriving cityof 4,000 inhabitants, whose sole existence dcoends on the plants of the Cherry River Boom and Lumber company and the West Virginia Pulp and Paper mill. These plants make deposits of deleterious matter into the river and if they are compelled to suspend operations the town of Rich wood will be wiped out of existence. The commissions is in a quandarv.