The Importance of Free Discussion
The suggestion was made in the discussion by the members of the Chemical and Bacteriological Section of the American Water Works Association on the paper published in the two preceding issues of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING by Jack J. Hinman, Jr., on “Standards of the Quality of Water,” that the Section contains, in its consideration and discussion of the subject in hand, a possibility of great help to the smaller water works men who are compelled to wrestle with the problem of the purification of their water supplies. There is no doubt that this suggestion contains more than a mere germ of the truth. The water works associations can help the superintendents and engineers of the departments, both large and small, in a way that no other agency can. This is by the free and full discussion by the members on the various subjects that are of vital interest and importance to the men of the water works. In the conventions of the American Water Works and of the New England Water Works Associations, in the periodical meetings of the latter and of the sections of the former, the greatest element of help is to be found in the testimony of men who are practically engaged in the work of water supply and purification. Not alone is this confined to the presentation of set papers, but the discussion of these papers in impromptu fashion by men who have come direct from the firing line of their department are of an inestimable value. One only needs to glance over the proceedings of these two associations’ conventions, as recently published in FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, to realize this fact.