The pollution of streams by distillery waste is, in the United States, a comparatively recent problem. Changes in the condition of the liquor trade have brought about the concentration of distilleries around cities and thickly settled communities, where they give rise to nuisances, the character and severity of which are governed mainly by the process employed and by the size of the stream into which the waste is emptied. The pollution of water courses in one way or another is certainly one of the most serious and important problems with which the health authorities have to deal. This is probably the only sanitary problem in which public opinion and the law have kept pace with scientific progress. The riparian rights of owners have been jealously guarded by the common law for several centuries and have been affirmed by statutes in many of the states of the Union.
THE LEGAL ASPECT
PRICE ML, STOKES WR. THE POLLUTION OF STREAMS BY DISTILLERY WASTE: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO LEPTOMITUS LACTEUS. JAMA. 1909;LII(16):1241–1246. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.25420420021002g
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