Oshkosh in Troubled Waters

Oshkosh in Troubled Waters

Literally, as well as figuratively, Oshkosh, Wis., is in troubled waters. A careful 6 weeks’ investigation and survey of its water supply, conducted by the official chemist of the State Hygienic Laboratory, states that the water of both Lake Winnebago and Lake Butte des Morts (ominous names) is unfit to use for domestic purposes without being filtered, and that the water filtered by the Oshkosh waterworks plant is in every way unsatisfactory. The water of the two lakes already referred to “contains considerable amounts of vegetable organic matter even several miles from shore, and. although not always contaminated to a considerable extent, is usually of poor quality. At times, when the direction of the wind is right, the water of Lake Winnebago, not only near shore, but several miles from land, is polluted. And considerably so when the water is rough. The quality of the water in the vicinity of Stony Beach. Fourteenth and Eighteenth streets, and Roe’s Point is not much better than the supply near the present intake and is polluted to practically the same degree during rough water. The quality of somewhat less than half of the samples of filtered water has been good, but the majority of the samples have been unsatisfactory. During the periods of the survey the quality of the filtered supply has been decidedly poor and occasionally the water has shown extensive pollution, indicating inefficient filtration. It is probable that the extension of the intake pipe to a mile from shore would supply water of somewhat better quality than is at present derived at the distance of 1,000 feet and thus lessen the dangers of pollution.”

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