THE WATER SUPPLY IN RURAL DISTRICTS.
In discussing the placing of responsibility for diseases due to polluted water on the water supplies of large cities, the Saginaw, Mich., “Courier-Herald” says it is done so often that the conditions in American rural districts are usually thought of, if not actually pictured in the public mind, as almost ideal, and it savs: “In reality, however, deplorable unsanitary conditions as regards the farm water supplies prevail widely, if we may believe state and national government reports. A large proportion of farm water supply in the less hillv portions of the country where springs are not abundant, comes from shallow wells, which are particularly subject to contamination. Deep wells are safer, but are not entirely free from danger of pollution. The chemist of the Canada experimental farms. Dr. Frank T. Shutt, concludes from an examination of several thousand samples of water used on farm homesteads in Canada that “probably not more than one-third of them are pure and wholesome.” Investigations made by the bureau ot plant industry, in co-operation with the Minnesota State Board of Health, showed that of 79 carefully selected typical farm water supplies in Minnesota, mainly well waters, 20 were good and 59 were polluted, usually because of careless or ignorant management, and generally as a result of poor location or lack of protection against surface wash or filtration. In an examination of the rural water supplies in Indiana it has been found that of the private rural water supplies examined 177 were deep wells, 411 shallow wells, five ponds, 40 springs, and 27 cisterns. One hundred and sixteen of the deep well waters were of a good quality, 45 were bad and 16 doubtful. But 159 of the 411 shallow well waters could be used, 209 were unequivocally bad, and 43 were of doubtful quality. A large percentage of the waters used by the families in which typhoid fever had occurred was unequivocally bad.” The “Courier-Herald” says that with the development of the country, the growth of the population and the greater congestion in living centres the danger of pollution of natural water supplies is vastly increased and adds that wells can be improved and rendered less subject to pollution if proper methods are employed.