OFFICIALS FIND TYPHOID NOT DUE TO WILMINGTON WATER.
A conference was recently held at the Water Department in Wilmington, Del., by health and water officials and statements were made that typhoid in the city was not due to the city water. The conference was attended by T. Allen Hilles, president of the Board of Water Commissioners; Chief Engineer Edgar M. Hoopes. Jr., Dr. Albert Robin, Dr. A. E. Frantz, secretary of the State Board of Health; J. Austin Ellison, secretary of the Wilmington Board of Health; Dr. H. J. Watson, State bacteriologist; Dr. YM. Myers, city physician and bacteriologist. Dr. Robin, former bacteriologist for the Water Department, said: “By no stretch of imagination can the existence of typhoid in this city be charged to the city’s drinking water.” This statement was made, following his checking up of analyses made of the city water by the Water Department, and Dr. H. J. Watson, bacteriologist for the State Board of Health at the State Laboratory at Newark. According to Dr. * Robin s statement the city water is 99 per cent. pure. Edgar M. Hoopes, Jr., chief engineer of the Water Department, stated the object of the conference to show what was being done by the Water Department to furnish pure water to the citizens. President Hilles said; “In my opinion the city is very near the danger line in its water department because of the need of more filtering and storage capacity. Should an accident happen to the equipment it would be a serious thing. Extra filtering plants and storage is what is needed.” Dr. A. E. Frantz, in discussing the typhoid cases, also declared that it could not be charged to the drinking water. “From the examinations of the bacteriological tests made of the city water,” he said, “which data is here and has been checked up, it is our opinion that the water that has been supplied by the Water Department has been and is as free from typhoid contamination as it is possible to have the same. It is my opinion that any typhoid fever that has existed in Wilmington has not had its origin from the city drinking water.” He added: “The present equipment of the Water Department, so far as filtration beds and storage capacity at the Porter Reservoir plant, is inadequate in respect to a permanent supply of pure water to the city in case of any breakdown or accident to the present plant. The filtration plant should at least be doubled and the same should apply to the storage reservoirs. There is but one large main carrying filtered water to the pumping plant. There should be an additional main from the filtration plant to the pumping station to guard against any break in the supply of pure water in case of accident to the present single main. The city has been fortunate in not having had any serious accident to the single delivery pipe. The Water Department has protected the Wilmington water supply as well as it is possible for any department so to do. Their bacteriological tests have been checked up and found satisfactory.” Mr. Ellison stated: “In the opinion of the board, after thoroughly investigating the water and milk supply of the city, we are perfectly satisfied that what typhoid we have cannot be attributed to the above sources,” and added “that there are fewer cases of typhoid in the city than a year ago and that many of the cases reported were from out of town.”