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August 27, 1910


JAMA. 1910;55(9):780-783. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330090054020

WATER FILTRATION AND TYPHOID FEVER  The significance of the continued high rate of typhoid fever in Washington, D. C., after the installation of a supposedly model filtration plant, is again brought up for discussion, this time by H. W. Hill.1 The facts of the situation are sufficiently remarkable to bear repetition. Here was a well-sewered city with a relatively high typhoid rate; the apparently excessive prevalence of the disease extended over many years and was attributed by those who studied the situation to a contaminated drinking-water. No dissenting voice was raised against this conclusion. In the instructive controversy over the relative merits of slow sand filters and mechanical filters which preceded the construction of the Washington filter-bed no one seems to have questioned that the supply of water from the Potomac river was highly polluted. The numerous committee reports and discussions of ten years ago abound in statements like