Waterford Working for Pure Water.
The Women’s Improvement Club of Waterford, N. Y., is waging a vigorous campaign for pure water. A recent afternoon meeting of the club was largely attended by citizens of Albany, Troy, Cohoes, Waterford and surrounding communities, among whom were such bacteriologists as Dr. William P. Mason of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Theodore Horton, chief sanitary engineer, and L. M. Wachter, chief chemist of the State Department of Health. Mrs. John W. Ford, tiie president, stated briefly the object of the meeting. She introduced Superintendent of Schools George 11. Harten, who showed a remarkable knowledge of the germ theory of disease for a layman in his explanation of the great dangers of the present water supply and the importance of a pure water supply to any community. Health Officer Prest then introduced William 1. Van Arnuni. a graduate chemist and bacteriologist from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who has specially studied the filtration of water. .Mr. Van Arnuni constructed on the stage a small laboratory filter, explaining the process step by step, and filtered water drawn from the present supply by the same method in which water is filtered in public mechanical filtration plants. He demonstrated then and there the great advantages of such a filter for Waterford in that it removed absolutely not only the germs, the dirt and the coloring matter from the water, but also the alum he had added to it to assist in its filtration, thus disproving a common argument that water filtered by this method still contains the alum that is added to it. Health Officer Prest explained a number of excellent lantern slides, showing how pure water has been obtained for other places, both in this country and abroad, not only by collecting pure water and conveying it to a communrty by aqueducts, as did the Romans, but also by filtering a polluted supply. He showed graphically the means of transmission of typhoid fever from the patient to the victim by water, by milk, by shellfish, by flies and by other methods, now unknown positively, laying great stress on the fact that a polluted water supply was the chief one of all these. He also showed the responsibility of the physician, of the household and of the public authorities in preventing the spread of this disease. He exhibited slides of both mechanical and slow sand filtration plants and diagramatic charts showing the great reduction in the typhoid fever death rate after the substitution of a pure water supply for a polluted one. A number of specially prepared slides showing local statistics in regard to the sickness and deaths caused by the use of the present supply were also exhibited. The feature of .the meeting, however, proved to be the exhibition of the motion picture, “Boil Your Water,” which had been loaned by The Pathe Freres Company of New York more than a week in advance of the regular release date. The picture shows graphically the taking of a sample of water by a bacteriologist and his examination of it. showing on the screen, magnified millions of times, the living organisms that infest impure water. Dr. Prest explained the processes of the examination and the habits and the danger of the pathogenic organisms shown. The picture then showed that boiling the water reduced these organisms to a harmless mass, and further that filtration by the same method as had been previously explained removed them absolutely.