Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

13 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



THE SEWAGE QUESTION. On this important subject, Mr. John Hart, of Leamington, writes to a London contemporary :— Allow me to offer to your readers a few remarks on a subject now occupying much attention—namely, the disposal and utilisation of town sewage. In the report of a recent Royal Commission it is forcibly urged that all sewage should be intercepted from the streams -which have hitherto been its outlet; this suggestion, if strictly put in practice will no doubt prove one of the greatest sanitary reforms of modern times, and for it the thanks of the community are due to the com- missioners. With practical details it was not their province to grapple, and they seem to have come only to a general coueliision that irrigation is the remedy for the evils they had under consideration, whatever the nature of the district. On the other hand, after a long discussion at the Conference and Congress held in this town, in October last, on the same subject, it was concluded that no one system is applicable to every situation, and the truth of this deduction, differing though it does from the preceding one, will not be doubted by unprejudiced nrinds. In the vicinity of large towns, supposing the difn- cnVty of obtaining sites for irrigation meadows to be overcome, it still remains to be proved that sewage, if continually poured in vast quantities over land, is less prejudicial to health in its effects than if, after being deprived of its impurities, it is allowed to flow into the streams. A little observation of the effects of sewage irrigation on those fields where it has been longest in operation will serve to show that this plan, though haying many advantages to recommend it, is not all that can be desired, as many of its enthusiastic supporters would lead the public to believe. A system seems to be wanted which shall be free from the disadvantages of irrigation as usually carried out, and yet utilise the refuse of our towns. Such a 81W presents itself in a modification of the well- known process of warping, as carried on near bodies of tidal water. The principal feature of it is covering land wholly of partially with sewage, and allowing this to remain ia a state of rest for any period that may be found de- sirable, during which the greater part of the manurial matter is deposited, and as much fluid as the earth will absorb, varying according to circumstances, is given to it. On some porous lands many inches in depth may thus be absorbed in a short time, and a valuable solid addition to the soil also made without the employment of any complicated means. Many opportunities will occur of applying the sewage to growing crops, as this system is apnlicable to arable land, and offers a favourable contrast to that now in operation in various places where rye grass is the prin- cipal, if not the only crop that can be probably pro- duced. The most impure sewage here requires no such straining as is found necessary previous to its applica- tion to land constantly under irrigation, as the soil is benefited in proportion to the amount of sediment de- posited upon it. The advantage also to growing crops to be derived from their free exposure to sun and air is not interfered with, as sufficient time between each application of liquid can be allowed to elapse for these great natural deodorisers to perform their important pa-rt in the production of vegetable fibre. Again, it is well known that no arable land will con- tinue to produce profitable crops without a proper rotation being observed; by the system now under consideration this is rendered practicable by the most simple means. Let us suppose sewage supplied to a district in reservoirs at as high a level as possible, either bypumpingorgravitation, as the circumstances demand. From these reservoirs feeders or channels radiating in *uy direction that the levels permit carry the sewage to the required distance from them it may be still farther distributed in furrows made by an implement worked in the same manner as a plough. It is not necessary that a large outlay for preparing the fields be incurred, as by a judicious distribution of these furrows gentle undulations may be covered with the liquid, and its flow regulated to a nicety by dams placed at intervals in the feeders. The principal advantages to be attained by the system here indicated consist—firstly, in the agricul- turist being able to apply successive dressings of sewage at such times and in such quantities as his ex- perience suggests secondly, in its easy application by unskilled labourers to crops which have hitherto re- ceived the benefits of liquid manure only on a limited scale. Thirdly, the freedom from those injurious emanations which are generally found in connexion with sewage when applied in such quantities as to be a hindrance rather than a stimulant to healthful vegetation. In the foregoing observations minute details have been avoided, my desire being to bring into notice the general <m times of a system worthy of further investigation, the pecuniary and other bearings of which might be enlarged upon but for the fear of occupying too much of your valuable space.












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