Rivers Which Purify Themselves
The discovery, exclusively described in this week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, by Dr. Fernand Arloing, of the Lyons, France, University, embodying the purification of water by the use of the so-called “bacteriophage,” marks a revolutionary era in this branch of water works practice. The discovery by the group of French savants that certain rivers and other bodies of water have the power to purify themselves, through the action of an “ultra-microbe,” which destroys waterborne germs producing diseases is one of such great importance and far-reaching effect that it may be looked upon as one of the great achievements of the Nineteenth Century. The remarkable fact that these bacteriophages are so minute that the finest instrument known to human ingenuity cannot locate them and that they readily pass through the finest porcelain filter, while it causes the marvel to be all the greater, does not in any way lessen the usefulness of the discovery, as not only are the effects of the bacteriophages’ action accurately determined, hut also the conditions favorable to their assault upon the injurious bacteria, upon which they are parasites. and which they destroy, are also known.
The discovery described by Dr. Arloing is still in its infancy. Tt contains mighty possibilities, not only in the science of water purification, but also to the future health and well-being of humanity. The destruction of the water-borne disease bacteria through the introduction of the bacteriophage will prove a boon to humanity that
will place this discovery in the front rank of those of the present age.