Typhoid Germs Easy to Destroy.
The current conception of typhoid germs as something almost impossible to destroy—as having most remarkable powers of resistance —is far from true. Science has long known that except in the places most favorable to their growth, they die quickly and easily. Scientists and the public have each, however, failed until recently to see what importance the change of environment is to germs and what a protection to mankind both ice and water are. Evidence of the comparative ease with which the dreaded typhoid bacilli is destroyed when kept out of its normal environment is given in a recent Bulletin of the New York State Department of Health. The studies of Dr. A. C. Houston, director of water examinations. Metropolitan Water Board. London. England, of the effect of storage of water undisturbed, on typhoid germs, gave these results: Eighteen separate portions of water were infected with 40,000,000 to 80,000.000 typhoid bacilli and bacterial counts made every week until they had entirely disappeared. In one of these series of tests, 10 portions of water failed to show any bacteria at the end of three weeks, 16 showed none at the end of four weeks, and in five weeks’ time the whole 18 portions failed to show any signs of the deadly germ. Most of the water from which natural ice is cut is of as good quality or better than the average town or city water supply, and has practically no typhoid germs in it at all. In the case of lakes and ponds, artificial or natural, the water is quiescent for more than five weeks before the ice forms, and so would be entirely free from typhoid bacilli had any been there originally. Furthermore, in the process of freezing, over 91 per cent. of the bacteria in water are removed if all the water is not frozen, so that natural ice is always from 91 to 99 per cent, purer than the water on which it formed.
At a recent election in Geneva, N. Y., a proposition to buy a new pump for the water system at a cost of $35,000 was carried by but one vote, and a proposition to build a new concrete reservoir at a cost of $30,000 was carried bv but 13. It is claimed that a number of ballots were thrown out by the inspectors as spoiled ballots, and that these should have been counted and if counted that both these propositions would have been defeated.