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December 18, 1915

"Sewage" and "Sewerage"

Author Affiliations

Health Officer and Secretary, Department of Health, Topeka, Kan.

JAMA. 1915;LXV(25):2185-2186. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580250057028

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To the Editor:  —In your effective educational work would it not be proper to clarify an alliterative entanglement? The two nouns "sewage" and "sewerage" offer difficulties to many, as does the impossible "preventative." Sewage flows within the sewerage; the former is the liquid, the sewerage being the system of pipes which carries it off. The only sewage system is the intestinal canal, but a sewerage system is always the mains, conduits and other pipes in the ground. Sewage disposal is any method of depositing or getting rid of the excreta, whether by privy, by the use of sewers or a sewage treatment plant. If the sewers are dug up out of the ground and thrown away, that would constitute sewerage disposal. Very frequently one sees the incorrect expressions "sewerage treatment" and "sewerage purification." Sewage is the liquid discharge—sewerage always the pipe, the connected sewers.

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