quacks and nostrum-venders, who pander to ignorance and perversity-for the greed of gain. All waters of that class— waters impregnated with the earthy salts and alkaloids-like medicine, are vile. Their indiscriminate use cannot but be a cause of disorder to both body and mind. We would plead for water pure and simple-water free from factitious elements, just as it is formed in the laboratory of nature; rain water, condensed from dew, or distilled from the clouds; spring water, filtered through strata of sand, fresh from nature's perennial fountains; sparkling water, that courses in tortuous streamlets over beds of rock and pebble, exposed to air and sunlight from which it has absorbed its full of radiant forces. While water from these sources is not as pure as one could wish, or as the demands of a high order of existence require, it comes as near to one's ideal of pure water as is practicable in the present imperfect condition of terrestrial things. Water of this character-water as pure as soft spring water-however, will suffice. It needs no mumbled mockery of priests, or touch of pious hands, to make it holy. It comes to us already blessed, laden with ethereal qualities drawn from the sky and air; qualities that, while they are of too subtle and imponderous a character to be weighed or measured, or otherwise estimated by any tests at present available, are yet of potent influence in the economy of life and indispensable to the well-being of sentient creatures.

A brief glance at some of the extraneous matters that are found in waters of general use, but which are regarded of more than average purity-matters wholly inimical to organic life-will suffice to satisfy the most sceptical of the importance of this subject from a hygienic point of view. There is a great difference in the quality of the water in different sections of the country, of course. Brooklyn water is one of more than average purity. Just look at a glass of it-the purest water on the planet, as Brooklyn people say! It is clouded with sand, perhaps,-it commonly is. Let that settle, and hold the glass up to the sunlight: numberless particles and threads of decayed and decaying vegetable matter are observed suspended in the fluid; and he who applies the

microscopic test to a drop of it, would lose at once whatever delight he may have had in quenching his thirst with it. Croton water is no better-indeed it is not as good. Besides the products of vegetable disintegration, which dim its transparency, there are more than traces of the earthy salts which it holds in solution, and which impair its sanitary virtues. These impurities are slight, however, in comparison with those the microscope reveals. That little tell-tale instrument brings into clear view numerous infusoria of various sizes and shapes, some of which appear, under the magnifying glass, large enough to choke any throat of ordinary capacity. An infinite number of sporules, also, swell the number of the inhabitants of the best waters and add an element of scientific interest to it for the microscopist. The ovules of a few species of insects likewise exist in them, the animal of which only leaves its motherelement when fully hatched. The horrid mosquito may be cited as an example. But it is needless to linger upon these examples of water, which are pure only in comparison with the waters of mineral springs, cisterns and surface wells, which, until modern times, were everywhere in common use. If the purest water that it is possible to obtain in the earth contains sufficient organic matter to support fishes, turtles, and other amphibious animals of visible proportions, what shall we think of the condition of the water of cisterns and surface wells, which ninety-nine-hundredths of the human family must either drink or go forever dry?

No water distilled by natural processes can be more than approximately pure. Its powerful solvent properties forbid its ever justifying its chemical formula-H3O. If it percolate through the soil, it dissolves in its course the earthy salts and alkaloids, and the various organic remains which the soil contains; if it form courses upon the earth's surface, and run in murmuring brooks through mountain gorges, or form deep channels and veins beneath the earth, it takes up large portions of minerals and other ingredients of the soil in its tortuous way; or, if it be distilled from the clouds of heaven and caught in clear pellucid rain-drops, it may, indeed, be free of gross inorganic matter, but it has absorbed in its way, ammonia,

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nitric acid, carbonic acid, and other gases, besides taking to itself a multitude of strange creatures which exist in the air, the products of every form and condition of life, which find in water a convenient nidus for transformation and development. Wherever it be found, or in whatever practicable condition it be obtained, it cannot unfortunately be otherwise than that water should be largely impregnated with things foreign and prejudicial to human life. As the evil is infinitely augmented in water that is stale, or confined in caverns shut out from sunlight and pure air, too great care cannot be exercised in securing, for human uses, water as free from extraneous elements as possible.

The ideal on this subject is, as we have observed, pure water, water uncontaminated with ponderable elements of any kind or from any source; and if water of this degree of purity be unattainable, we can, at least, make it our endeavor to attain it. The condition of the public health is therefore closely identified with the quality of water in public use. How frequently one hears of tourists having to leave certain sections of country resort because the water disagrees with them! In certain of the southern States, the water is so foul as to be completely amorphous. An unacclimated person who declines to make use of the customary antidote-whiskeyis most certain to be stricken with diarrhoeas, or feverssometimes with both. The whiskey probably destroys or renders innocuous the millions of bacteria with which such waters are largely impregnated.

There is a growing suspicion that impure water is the chief source of typhoid fever. The experience of Boston furnishes a reasonable basis for such an opinion. Previous to the introduction of Cochituate water, its population drew their supply of water directly from the wells which receive the soakings of the soil and surface filth. During that time, typhoid fever was a continual scourge among her population, and one of the most prominent causes of her high rate of mortality. New York, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and other cities, have had a similar experience the débris of organic life being absorbed by the water of surface wells, and thus

finding free access to the systems of its hapless victims. The thought of it excites qualmishness; but no imaginary representation is adequate to reproduce a true picture of the horrid reality. This may be discovered to some extent in the mortuary returns.


A recent report of "The Medical Department of the Local Government Board" (London) furnishes some interesting facts in this connection. We quote a paragraph :—“ At Terling Place ten persons were attacked with enteric [typhoid] fever, and all these persons, and these only of a large family, drank water from a particular well into which it was discovered that a cesspool leaked. At Dicken-Bonent, in Essex, a certain well was polluted, and out of eighty-eight drinkers from that well forty-two persons were attacked [with the disease]. At Nunnery, a village in Somersetshire, having a population of eight hundred and fifty-two, Dr. Ballard records seventy-six cases of enteric fever as occurring in four months. The cases were limited in a remarkable way to families who obtained their water supply from a small rivulet which received the sewage of several houses up stream. At Hawkesburg Upton, in Gloucestershire, a village of six hundred and fifty-seven inhabitants, within a short period, ninety-five cases and fourteen deaths from enteric fever occurred in groups following the excessive pollution of different wells in the village. Banbage, a village in Leicestershire, as recorded by Dr. Gwynne Harries, had an outbreak of enteric fever from the same cause last year. No one took the fever in the village except persons who certainly, or presumably, drank water from a particular pump; and every house supplied from that pump was subject to infection." These facts are highly significant, and point to no uncertain conelusion.

Apropos of typhoid fever, Sir William Guy (London), in a recent lecture on that disease at Guy's Hospital, argued that "the disease is as preventable as ague, and that the time will come when deaths from it will be as rare." He says it is caused by a virus of nature, which may get into the healthy body, increase in it, and destroy it. It is an accidental condition, and

not one of the ordinary processes of nature. The origin of the disease is somehow or other connected with drainage; it has, therefore, been called the filth fever, and to get rid of the filth is to get rid of the fever. And he insists that “no one can approach a case of typhoid fever without paying some attention to hygiene," rightly claiming that hygiene is of the greatest importance; and with it he would "prefer to carry any one through the disease by wines and soups and fresh air, rather than by the use of drugs"-a doctrine which now meets with very general acceptance by the medical profession in all civilized countries.

Dr. Parkes, in his erudite work on Practical Hygiene, cites many instances from various sources of the production of enteric fever by the use of impure water; and while neither he nor any other observer believes impure water to be the only source of that disease, yet most observers agree in the opinion that impure water is a most prolific cause of it. He mentions the outbreak of typhoid fever which occurred at Munich in 1860, at the convent of the Sisters of Charity, in which thirty-one persons of one hundred and twenty were attacked with that disease, between the 15th of September and the 4th of October following. The cause was traced to wells impregnated with much organic matter (and among other things typhoid dejections), and containing nitrates and lime. On the cessation of the use of the water the fever ceased.

Two years later, or in 1863, a severe epidemic of the same fever occurred in the same city among the soldiers, which was likewise traced to the use of water impregnated with fecal matter. "On ceasing to use the water the disease disappeared." In 1865, also, "a very remarkable outbreak of typhoid [fever] occurred at Baths, in Scotland, and was traced to drinking water contaminated with sewage. In 1865, typhoid fever broke out in a girls' school at Bishopstoke, near Southampton, and was traced unequivocally to the bursting of a sewer pipe in the well. The water was disagreeable both to taste and smell. Seventeen or eighteen persons were affected out of twenty-six or twenty-eight. Several very striking instances are recorded in Mr. Simons' Reports by Drs. Seaton, Buchanan

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