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The importance of the purification of public water supplies was impressed upon the writer with special emphasis by the brief epidemic of typhoid fever which occurred in Providence last fall. At that time there occurred in the space of two weeks about 250 cases and forty-seven deaths. The cause of the outbreak was the contamination of the river which furnishes our water supply, by the stools of typhoid fever patients. That similar occurrences are by no means rare is well known, and probably instances of the kind have come under the personal observation of very many of the gentlemen here present.
The impurities which are liable to be found in the public water supplies of cities are varied. There may be coloring matter from swamps and bogs or other sources which renders the water disagreeable to the sight. The water may be muddy from the presence of clay or earth.
CHAPIN CV. THE PURIFICATION OF DRINKING WATER FOR CITIES. Read in the Section of State Medicine, at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1889. JAMA. 1889;XIII(15):512–516. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02401110006001a
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