State Health Department Intervenes in Wheeling
The Greater Wheeling Pure Water Commission which has been for some months struggling with the problem indicated by its name, fancied that it had solved it by recommending the installation of a well water supply system. A new cause for delay has now arisen in the attitude of the State Department of Health, a letter having been sent to Mayor Thoner, chairman of the commission, by the chief engineer of the Division of Sanitation, reading, in part, as follows: “Our department has been vitally interested in Wheeling’s water supply problem and 27.1it was due in great part to our insistence and urging that chlorinators were installed in 1918 to reduce the very high typhoid death rate in Wheeling until a complete, modern, water purification system could be provided. We have been in touch with the different types of plants which have been proposed and discussed at great length. It is fitting that you should bring up at the next meeting of the Pure Water commission the attitude of the Division of Sanitary Engineering of the State Department of Health on this question. We feel that it would be folly for the City of Wheeling to attempt to install a well system and do not think it is wise to consider it even as a temporary measure. A modern mechanical filtration plant is the only right solution of Wheeling’s Water Supply problem and we shall remain firm in our stand. The state law now requires that all new installations meet our approval and for the good of the city of Wheeling, it is our duty to see that after this long struggle for pure water and the loss of hundreds and no doubt thousands of lives sacrificed for the absolutely preventable disease—typhoid fever—the citizens of Wheeling get a system which will probably provide for their present as well as future needs.”
Director and Chief Engineer.