The success of any sanitary improvement depends on public opinion, and before we achieve any decided improvement in the condition of our sewage-polluted sources of water-supply there must exist a healthy sentiment in favor of such improvement. There has been considerable popular clamor in favor of "prevention" of pollution, but by demanding the impossible these well-intentioned enthusiasts did more harm than good.
Absolute prevention of pollution of waterways on an inhabited watershed is impossible. Speaking generally, water-supplies taken from streams and lakes which receive the drainage of agricultural and grazing lands, rural communities and unsewered towns are unsafe for use without purification, but are safe for use if purified.
If pollution on uninhabited watersheds is inevitable and water taken from such sources must be purified, why, asks the practical city engineer, may we not utilize the streams for sewage disposal and avoid expensive methods of sewage treatment?
In waterways where
McLAUGHLIN AJ. THE NECESSITY FOR RESTRICTION AND CONTROL OF SEWAGE POLLUTION OF THE GREAT LAKES SYSTEM. JAMA. 1914;LXIII(18):1555–1557. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570180041010
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