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January 19, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(3):187-188. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470030043004

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The Committee on the District of Columbia of the United States Senate is investigating the relative merits of slow filtration through sand beds and rapid filtration in connection with the use of coagulants as applied to surface waters for their purification. The Engineer Department of the Army made experiments on the Potomac river water during the past year and recommended for the water-supply of Washington the adoption of a system of mechanical filtration with alum as a coagulant. The District Medical Society took exception to this recommendation and urged the construction of sand beds for slow filtration as giving better sanitary results.

From the hygienic standpoint the subject before the senate committee is not a difficult one. There is no question as to the efficiency of slow sand-bed filtration in removing bacteria from a polluted water and lessening the prevalence of typhoid fever among the communities using the filtered water.

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