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To the Editor:
—The Journal,Dec. 10, 1910, contains an editorial on the septic tank in which there is a quotation from the well-known sanitary engineer, Mr. Rudolph Hering. The quotation does not fairly represent Mr. Hering's views, and the general trend of the editorial is hardly in keeping, apparently, with the present state of engineering thought.It is true that the former septic tank has proved a disappointment; it is true that the sludge so treated is often more difficult to manage than the untreated sewage; it is true that not unfrequently the rising sludge breaks up the scum, and creates a disagreeable condition; but it is not true that the septic tank idea is being abandoned.In the Emscher Valley, in Germany, there is a sewage district of 308 square miles, containing a population of about 2,00,000 persons, and the population is rapidly increasing. Dr. Ing. Karl
Hemenway HB. The Septic Tank. JAMA. 1911;LVI(10):761. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560100053032