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Crudely constructed latrines and cesspools, without connections with regularly laid drains, were the devices which often obtained among the early inhabitants of the country; they were places for receiving the waste water and the dejecta of occupants of houses and other buildings, and were for the most part recommended merely for the convenience they afforded. The method which these contrivances furnished for disposing of refuse liquids and excrementitious elements worked no serious manifest injury unless some of the more deleterious products had gained, by percolating through the surrounding soil, admission into a well or other source of water to be used for domestic purposes. Among the more dangerous products of this class have been those derived from the albuminoids and the nitrates, and from carriers of some of the forms of bacteria that were capable of giving rise to diseases that have been regarded as of a zymotic character. The
CLARKE AP. THE METHODS OF DRAINAGE NOW PREVAILING IN SOME OF OUR EASTERN SEABOARD MUNICIPALITIES, TENDING TO THE PRODUCTION AND DISSEMINATION OF DISEASE. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(9):462–464. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430870010001d
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