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March 10, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(10):877. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960450059016

Ideas that have been accepted for many years come to be believed as being axiomatic, but every now and then a critical reevaluation of these ideas is called for and may reveal that the ideas are based on conditions that have changed, that they failed to consider important factors, or occasionally that they were never true. The idea that sewage that has undergone primary and secondary treatment in a modern sewage disposal plant may safely be discharged into a river has been subjected to critical scrutiny by Kelly and her co-workers.1 The old methods of sampling by dipping up several cubic centimeters of sewage had the disadvantage that it missed many organisms prevalent in sewage that can be demonstrated by examining large gauze swabs that have been suspended in the flowing sewage for prolonged periods —usually 24 or 48 hours. Coxsackie and poliomyelitis viruses were found by the swab