The impetus given to improvements in sanitary matters by the conferences held during last year at the Health Exhibition, as well as the desire shown by engineers and others to improve the sanitary condition of towns, has induced me to publish the following system of detecting defects in drainage and sanitary fittings.
It must be admitted that grave errors have been committed by engineers, architects, and builders, both in planning the fittings of houses and in laying drains to the main sewers, during the last twenty years. These errors have been found to have produced serious effects on the public health. They have also been the means of establishing throughout the country a number of Sanitary Protection Societies.
These institutions have been the means of saving many useful lives, but I trust that the day is not far distant when these societies will cease to exist, and such terms as “scientific plumbers” and “sanitary arrangements carried out on the most scientific principles” will be a thing of the past.
To my mind it is a national disgrace to know that in this nineteenth century architects and builders fixed fittings to houses, and laid drains from houses to sewers, which affected the health of the occupants to such an extent that it was necessary to establish insurance offices to protect persons from being killed by workmen or their employers. What a page for future historians!
The work or purpose of drains and sanitary fittings is to carry off by water the soil and dirt from our houses, and it is lamentable to think that this cannot be done without injury to life.
What should we say if the same precautions were necessary to test or examine the work of other professions or trades?
To many the system described in these pages may appear new, but it is by no means so, as it was discovered and used by me in 1880, and was then the means of finding out serious defects in a supposed perfect drainage system.
From that time up to the present it has proved of considerable value in determining any defect in the construction of drains and fittings. With the detector and anemometer I have been enabled to discover the cause of so many failures in sewer ventilation, and to trace the origin and transmission of many cases of zymotic disease.
The object of this work is to place the same knowledge in the hands of every person connected with sanitary work.
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