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inent—a dire disgrace to London, the metropolis of the capable of being adapted to a variety of outfalls into the orld. Mr. Bazalgette's voice, however, may not have Thames, or to the utilisation of the sewage at Barking
en raised in vain. The Chief Commissioner has de-Creek and Woolwich Marshes, or even nearer to London, lared that the drainage plans are still to be submitted and the Thames thus purified at a less cost, the reservoirs at v the ablest engineers in the country, when Dr. Bazal- those places being dispensed with, substituting for them ette's views may yet find support.
deodorising works, and discharging the purified waters. The western district contains about twenty-one miles. into the Thames at all times of the tide." Che surface is low, much of it being but slightly above “This process would entirely remove the sewage from righ-water mark. Mr. Bazalgette reports," In 1854, the river in a practical point of view. A further saving Mr. Haywood and I recommended for this area, mainly of nearly half a million might be ejected by terminating the in the score of economy, works for purifying its sewage sewers and establishing deodorising works nearer to London, waters, and then discharging them into the Thames," say in the Greenwich Marshes and the West Ham -instead of conveying the sewage of 21 square miles Marshes, which would accomplish the object desired hrough the heart of Westminster and London to the without creating a nuisance.” Lea. He adds,—"Since then, extensive experiments, Now let us examine whether the deodorisation cannot which have been made in several places, all tend to con- be better performed elsewhere. Taking first the western firm the statement, that sewage matter can be separated district, I will give an outline of the deodorising works from the water in which it is dissolved without creating a as they would be established near the outlet of the Kennuisance, and the water may, by this means, be rendered sington Conal. clean and inoffensive.
l ist. The pumping engines would be of a less power “ Thus it was that, in the year 1954, we were induced than that requisite to raise the sewage into the low-level o recommend the construction of sewage works in a sewer opposite Vauxhall suburban locality, removed from houses, viz., in the fields 2nd. The deodorising canals, the elevators, and filter on the banks of the river west of Kensington cacal. frames, would be entirely built in; so that the solid
“ In making that recommendation we assumed the deposit would be discharged direct from the filters into sewage to be valueless; but we had ascertained that the covered barges, without any previous contact with the cost of the process of purification would be very much less outer air, and be at once conveyed to depôts on the banks than that of conveying the sewage to high water at Bark of the river, far beyond the linits of the metropolis. ing Creek. And this latter circumstance mainly in 3rd. Were it decided to flush or scour during dry fluenced us, although the increased engineering difficulties weather the low-level sewer, passing along the Strand and attendant on the other scheme had some share in forming Fleet-street line, with the effluent water, one deposit our decision.
canal alone would be employed. But should it be found “Since the date of that report objections have been preferable to discharge it into the river, a second canal, raised to the establishment of deodorising works in the two hundred feet in length, would be necessary; and locality mentioned."
after passing through it, the effluent stream would be Whichever plan be adopted, it is proposed to make the found transparent, and free from taste and smell. The western sewer capable of being ultimately extended to next point at which deodorising works might be introBrentford. The sewage of that and of other populous | duced is near the river Lea. towns in the neighbourhood will, in the mean time, con- The position of these works ought unquestionably to tinue to pour their sewage into the Thames above the be on the City side of the Lea, the passage over which bridges.
river, by a tubular aqueduct for the high level, and by a "Supposing the sewage of the western district to be conduit beneath the river bed for the low level sewer, will conveyed to deodorising works near the mouth of the be extremely costly and difficult of execution. Kensington canal, a branch from Chelsea hospital would The expensive extension and the huge reservoir in the have to be constructed.”
marshes would be entirely dispensed with. The sewage would be raised by pumping either into The deodorising system might also be applied to the the low level sewer, or to the sewage works.
southern drainage scheme by works at Deptford Creek, the "If it is decided to deal with the sewage locally at the pumping-station there proposed being most conveniently sewage works, it would be raised at the Kensington situated for the purpose. The necessity would thus be canal fifteen and a half feet, requiring 153 horse-power. avoided of conveying the sewage from Clapham and But, if conveyed to the out-fall, it would have to be Putney to the reservoirs in the marshes, and the sewage raised twenty and a half feet, requiring for that purpose of Greenwich might be brought down by its natural fall 328 horse-power. The cost of pumping, in the latter to the Deptford works, just as the Chelsea sewage was to case, would amount to £15,120 per annum, but only to the western works at Kensington canal, leaving the £8,900 per annum if the sewage were deodorised near sewage of Woolwich and the lower part of the line to be Kensington canal.
| treated separately, if at all. “ The saving effected by not conveying the sewage to I will now give the estimate of cost for the drainage the outfall, together with the diminution of engine- and conveyance of the sewage down to Erith Reach, as power, would amount to £8,059 per annum, advantages now under the consideration of the Metropolitan Board, which induced me still to recommend the cheaper pro- and compare it with the same drainage modified by cess. Should the sewage at some future time attain a deodorizing works. (See Table in following page.) marketable value, it would go toward liquidating the Hitherto I have confined myself to showing how easily expenses of extracting it from the water."
the system which Mr.Bazalgette himself recommendsat the The saving on the further extension to Erith Reach Kensington canal, for an area of twenty-two square miles will again increase this amount, which, together with the may be extended toevery other part of the remaining eighty reduced cost of the deodorising process, would now square miles of his projected plan. But if I have succeeded 'amount to a saving of £12,000 a year on the western in imparting to my hearers a small share of the convic district alone, and this may one day be further increased tion I myself derive from the success of the Leicester by the sale of the manure.
works, and have satisfactorily shown that deodorizing Having quoted from Mr. Bazalgette's earlier reports works can be placed, even in the most densely crowded lohis repeated recommendation of the deodorising system calities, without the possibility of any well-grounded objecfor the western district, let me now read an extract from tion being raised against them, it may be asked, whether a much later report, dated the 25th September last, after considerable advantage would not accrue from augmentSir Benjamin Hall had twice rejected, on behalf of the ing their number; and whether, by placing them in the Government, outfalls approved by the Metropolitan centres rather than at the extremities of the lines of inBoard. He says :-" The approved drainage scheme is tercepting sewers the consequent diminution of distance,
Cost of the
COMPARATIVE ESTIMATE OF CAPITAL AND WORKING state of its shores, unless that very necessary undertaking EXPENSES.
be carried out. I go further, and maintain that the em
bankment itself should enclose the deodorizing canals,
Mr. Bazalgettel. Detail of Works adopted by Metro
the vaulted roofs of which would form a platform availpolitan Board of Works.
for conveying sewage to Erith
with deodori- able for roads or any other purpose, Reach. sing works. The embankment, in fact, is a key to the whole posi.
tion. It will cut off the communication between the SOUTI SIDE.
present sewers and the river, and, at the same time, furHigh level sewer from Clapham to Deptford and branch ................... £199,226 £199,226
nish, without disturbing the streets, not only a site for Lou Level sewer from Putney to Dept
deodorizing the sewage waters, but the best site, namely, ford and branch .............
one at or near the present mouths of the sewers, whilst Extension from Deptford to Plumstead 155,550
77,775 Reservoir and land for pumping station! 103,140 Land below.
the works would offer no interference to the roads, quays, Engine-houses, engines, pumpa, &c.... 164,780
91,980 or warehouses erected over them (One pumping saved by deodorising.)
The capital required to carry out any system for unNORTI SIDE.
profitably conveying the sewage of the metropolis down High level sewer.....
129,500 Middle level sewer and branch ...
the river, would, in conjunction with the funds produced Low level sewer, exclusive of the
by the new wharves and docks, suffice to effect this great sewer from Western District ...... 253,800
undertaking Until the embankment was considerably Western District....
78, 200 Main outfall sewer to Barking, reser
advanced, the sewers entering the Thames between Lonvoir and land..........
425,800 Land below. don and Westminster Bridges would continue as now to Engine-houses, engines, pumps, &c.... 112,000
112,000 pour their filth into the river, but all the enormous sewers Additional cost of conveying sewage from Western District to Barking.. 348,180
above and below the bridges might at once be purified by Extensions to Erith Reach.
the erection of local works which could be brought into
operation within six months from the time at which the Latest estimate-dated Dec. 1, 1856... £2,836,600 £1,365,681
ground was placed in the hands of engineers. How many Land, 50 acres at £300.................
15,000 Deodorizing Works .......
years must otherwise elapse before any portion of the Passage over and under the Lea River
metropolitan sewage will be directed from its present Brentford and Acton Extension.........
course. £2,836,600 £1,630,681
One striking advantage in treating the sewage locally Saving in Capital ............................ £1,205,919.
is, the facility which it offers for meeting, at any future
time, the necessities of an increasing population in any ANNUAL WORKING EXPENSES. Mr. Bazalgette's Estimate adopted by the Board
particular district. On Mr. Bazalgette's plan, preparation
is to be made at once, at an enormous increase of expense, DEODORIZING WORKING EXPENSES.
for an addition of one million to the present population, WEEKLY.
an estimate which never may be realised, or at least not 30 Lime Mixers, at 20s.....
£30 75 Filter Press Men, at 20s. ...
in the quarters anticipated. 30 Filter Press Lads, at 10s......
Nothing that I have proposed would interfere with the 10 Reservoir Men, at 20s, ...
high and middle level intercepting sewers, works comWages.....
paratively inexpensive, and offering no engineering diffiWeeks ...
culties. I would only observe, that the sewage con
veyed by those sewers should be treated locally, and the Wages per Annum .......
purified water, when needed, supplied during dry weather Three Superintendents at £150
450 Wear and Tear ........
to the flushing of the lower and less rapid system of Lime, 26,000 tons, at 12s. 60. .....
sewers. Engine Power rented from Pumping Engines... 1,625
Although several members of the Metropolitan Boards £27,450
have visited the works at Leicester for their individual Produce from filter presses, 300,000 tons annually, satisfaction, the authorities of the metropolis have not which, if sold at only 2s. per ton, would cover the work attempted to acquaint themselves on better ground than ing expenses.
hearsay evidence, with the facts which have resulted from £1,205,919, then, would appear to be the amount of the Leicester experiment. It is a reproach to all parties capital to be saved by adopting the deodorising system that no official knowledge is possessed upon a subject which over the whole of the metropolitan drainage scheme ; is associated at Leicester with such changes in the Bills and I will not shrink from comparing my portion of the of Mortality, as are exhibited by the report of the Officer estimates, step by step, with those adopted by the Board. of Health. As far as I can separate the amounts representing the High scientific opinions are not wanting in support of cost of drainage, &c., for the western district alone, they | the system. I will read the following letter in proof of stand thus :
what I state : Metropolitan estimates for | IF DEODORISED.
“ Chemical Laboratory, Guy's Hospital, drainage .................. £78,000
September, 15th, 1851. £78,000
“SIR,_We have read with great attention your pamphlet, Additional cost of conveying
describing the patent process for producing solid manure from sewage from western dis
sewage water, and think that the plan which you proposed for trict to Barking alone ... 348,180
collecting the sewage of towns and speedily converting it to a On to Erith (cost unknown)
profitable and useful manure, excellent. Deodorising works at the
“The chemistry is properly explained, and the descriptions Kensington canal.......
clear and intelligible. (Population 151,950)
"We can state of our knowledge, and from our own experi
ments, that by your process the nitrogenous organic matter, as £426,180 £99,000
well as the phosphoric acids, dissolved or undissolved, would go
down and be retained in the solid deposit ; while the water, to which the sewage would be conveyed, might not ena
after the precipitation is completed, will be discharged in a ble their size to be reduced, and their inclination to be
| limpid state, and free from the offensive matter which it pre
viously contained. increased, so as to ensure more perfect scouring. I have
“The avoidance in your process of long exposure to the air, already said how heartily I concur in all Mr. Bazalgette
and the absence of artificial heat, ensures the separation, in the has urged in reference to the Thames embankment, and best manner, to prevent loss of the fertilising matters contained the impossibility of ever arriving at the complete purifi- , in the sewage water. cation of the river, or at & wholesome and respectable “We consider your process has, in fact, these advantages
over every other plan which has been proposed-it provides for of all things just the thing to supply as manure for the the immediate and rapid sewerage of a district at all periods; growth of the food of that population. The Irish fed it prevents the contamination of a river, or other sources of very much upon potatoes, and potatoes grew well in Irewater supply by removing all noxious animal and vegetable land, because
land, because the effete matter of the potato feeder was matters; it provides for a speedy deodorisation, separation, and drying, of the solid and useful parts of the sewage; and, lastly,
exactly suited for the growth of that crop; and, in like it furnishes to the agriculturist a cheap and usetul manure.
manner, the population of the metropolis of this country “ Wishing you success in a practical form,
would be best provided with food suited to it by the ap** We are, yours, very truly,
plication of the sewage of the metropolis to the land. "ARTHUR AIKIN. F.L.S.
The 12,000 tons of nitrogen consumed in the food of its "ALFRED S. TAYLOR, M.D., F.R.S. inhabitants was capable of being applied to the growth of
“ Professors of Chemistry, in Guy's Hospital.” a similar representative of food if we followed Nature's “T. Wicksteed, Esq., &c., &c."
teachings. He was in the first instance surprised at the With such opinions and results in favour of the system, statement that the inhabitants of London, in maintaining I demand, on public grounds, that further inquiry be made their vitality, consumed about 12,000 tons of nitrogen into the facts which I have alleged. Let chemists be ap- annually: but, ignorant of the mode of arriving at this pointed by the Government to analyse the sewage water at result by Mr. Cooke, he had made the calculation on his every stage of the operation; let a commission be appointed own data, and came to the result of 11,768 tons, which to visit and examine deliberately and frequently the works was very near the amount stated in the paper. at Leicester, at all hours, and judge whether the results Mr. J.B. LAWES said, that he read before this Society, herein stated have been exaggerated, and if they are found about two years ago, a paper upon the sewage of Lonto be fully borne out, let not the provisions of the act of don, in which he expressed an opinion that it would 1855 be tortured into preventing the admission of not be possible, by any process hitherto discovered, to limpid water into the Thames, when no objection has manufacture a solid manure from sewage, which should hitherto been raised to the discharge into the river of be remunerative both to the manufacturer and to the storm waters, which after passing for miles in common agriculturist. This subject was very fully entered into sewers cannot be remarkably pure and inodorous.
at that time. Indeed, the interest taken in it was so That ordinary sewage has high manuring properties is great, that the Council of the Society was kind enough universally admitted, and I have shown how it may be to devote an extra night to the discussion. Mr. Wickemployed, both economically and without contaminating steed's pamphlet was then before the public, in which he the atmosphere. Again, the cheap manure in which the endeavoured to show that a profit of 22 per cent. could deposit can be produced in a solid form, yet promises to be obtained upon a capital of one million, by applying render its manufacture self-paying if not even lucrative. to the sewage of London that process which had since For my own part, I think that ultimately such will be been carried out at Leicester, and described this eventhe case. But farmers are slow in appreciating the value ing by Mr. Cooke. Mr. Wicksteed considered that his of any manure that does not possess strong fertilizing solid manure would sell for £2 to £2 13s. Od. per ton. properties, and the quantity produced must for a time It was, however, argued by him (Mr. Lawes) and others, exceed the demand. Its value, however, for compost or that the chemical composition of the manure would not “ nitre beds” is beginning to be appreciated, which alone justify Mr. Wicksteed in assigning to it a greater value will open a wide field for its employment. Above a than a few shillings per ton. It must be gratifying to thousand tons have been taken by the farmers near those who, like him (Mr. Lawes), considered that the Leicester during the past week, and further applications / value of any manure could be determined by its chehave been made, but at a very low price. Leaving the mical composition, to find that this opinion had been question of marketable value, my object this evening has confirmed that night by Mr. Cooke. This sewage debeen to represent the great facitities for, and advantages posit was no longer a valuable artificial manure, but it was in, deodorizing the sewage water of the metropolis before to be ranked with lime, chalk, clay, &c. Mr. Cooke had putrescence is in full activity, and the restoration of the said, “ that it would find purchasers at a low price, when water either in a pure state to the river, or the use of it it could be obtained at an easy and short carriage; and after deodorization for the purposes of inoffensive irriga- that, by judicious arrangements, it might sell for rather tion. That the sewage water can be sufficiently deodo- more than it costs.” The great objection to Mr. Wickrized and purified by lime alone without causing the steed's process was this, that while increasing the sewage slightest nuisance, is a great fact, and I can see nothing by an enormous bulk of worthless matter, it failed but prejudice or penuriousness that can prevent its to arrest the greater portion of that which was adoption.
most valuable in the sewage, which, consequently,
flowed back into the sewers or rivers. It was well DISCUSSION.
known to chemists that lime would not precipitate The CHAIRMAN said it was now his duty to invite dis-ammonia or its salts from a liquid containing them. cussion upon this subject. At the present stage he would Mr. Cooke endeavoured to meet the objection by saying, only say that he agreed with the author of the paper in that in using Mr. Wicksteed's process they did not deal the importance of the question being solved as to the with highly putrescent sewage abounding in ammonia. beneficial application of the sewage of the metropolis, Professor Way, however, held a different opinion; he exand the prevention of its entire waste. When they re- amined sewer-water from places in the centre of London, collected that the whole system of vegetable and animal from Barret-court and Dorset-square, and stated that all life depended one upon the other--that vegetables lived the nitrogen in the liquid state seemed to be in the form of upon carbonic acid, water, ammonia, and certain mine-ammoniacal salts; that in one case 84 per cent., and in ral substances—that these afforded food to animals during the other 89 per cent. of the whole ammonia in the life, and were again resolved, by the effete matter during sewage existed in the soluble state. While, therefore, life and decay after death, into the same substances, viz., he (Mr. Lawes) might lament, with Mr. Cooke, that thirty carbonic acid, water, and ammonia, it was not, he million pounds worth of ammonia had gone to waste in thought, a wise policy on the part of the metropolis to the City of London during his life, he (Mr. Lawes) send away all that matter to feed sea-gulls and sea-lions, could not admit that this waste would be stopped by the in order that it might be brought back again from Icha-application of Mr. Wicksteed's process. Mr. Cooke had, boe in the form of guano. Instead of this general and perhaps wisely, abstained from furnishing an analysis of wasteful distribution of our treasures throughout the his manure, but he (Mr. Lawes) would, however, venture world, it would be far better to use them economically to quote one which had lately been given him by Proand productively at home. He would mention one phi- fessor Voelcker, Professor of Chemistry to the Royal losophical fact. The effete matter of a population was Agricultural College, Cirencester:
Analysis of Leicester bricks made from the sewage of the but simply to perform the work of disintegration at once by town of Leicester, by Mr. Wicksteed's Lime process. putting the solid manure into water to arrest the gases, Water .............
and applying it by the water-cart or by steam-power. 10.52
............. Organic matters.............
This process was in fact a saving one. Mr. Beach, a Oxides of iron and alumira................
) market gardener, at Isleworth, had given proof, in prize Phosphate of Lime (bone earth)........... 2.27
fruit and vegetation, of its special advantages. The apCarbonate of Lime.........................
plication of those principles to the disposal of the refuse Sulphate of Lime ...........................
of towns in the prevention of nuisances, was now proved Carbonate of magnesia ....................
in a sufficient number of instances. It had been done at Potash .........................................
Rugby now for three years. In respect to the drainage, it Chloride of Sodium ........................
was to be observed, that those who only knew sewago Insoluble siliceous matter .................
under the old conditions, as decomposing manure from
the overflow of cesspools or house drains, where it had 100-77
been detained for weeks, months, or years, were unaware
.79 of the new conditions of town drainage, in which And containing nitrogen equal to 0:60; ammonia, 0.72.
all cesspools were abolished, self-cleansing tubular Now, here was a substance containing 80 per cent. of house drains and sewers being substituted, and the refuse matter to which it was impossible to assign any money removed at once, before it could become decomposed. At value, and containing not more than 16 or 17 lbs. of am- Rugby, all refuse was immediately removed by the new monia in a ton. What could be done with 300,000 tons self-cleansing drainage and sewers, and afterwards distriof this substance, the annual amount which would be buted by steam-power on the principle of the water-cart. produced if Mr. Wicksteed's process was applied to the The results of the working were in complete accordance London sewage? It certainly could not be sold, and it with the principles and facts to which he had adverted. was doubtful whether it would be taken as a gift. He The sewage was at once received in the soil, and held (Mr. Lawes) could hardly think that the Chief Commis- there, not merely in mechanical suspension, but in sioner of Public Works would consider himseif justified chemical combination, until it was taken up by vegetain permitting deodorising works to be erected in the tion. The effect was shown in the pellucid and usually metropolis, from which 8 or 9-tenths of the ammonia in inodorous condition in which the surplus water ran the sewage operated upon would flow back into the away on days when there was no rainfall. The sanitary sewers or river, more especially as ammonia was the ele- conditions and the agricultural conditions, were, as he ment which, more than any other, was supposed to be the (Mr. Chadwick) conceived, inseparable, and the instance vehicle of miasma and contagion. He (Mr. Lawes)consi- cited would be found to demonstrate that where land dered that the proper mothod of using sewage was by was available, they might be satisfactorily established by irrigation. If, however, it was found impossible to select this method. But, whilst it operated to arrest decomany district upon which the fluid could be deposited, he position, and deodorize the refuse of towns, and to prewas disposed to join in the cry of those who say, away vent a nuisance, by a speaker at the Great Metropolitan with the sewage to the German ocean,
Board of Works, and in writings of persons advocating Mr.E.CHADWICK,C.B., said that, on the statement made particular interests, this very case had been held forth by Mr. Cooke, that " it behoved the authorities generally as an instance of the creation of the nuisance. On this to consider whether the effluvium from an extensive essential point he must claim to adduce the authentic area saturated with sewage, poisoning the atmosphere declaration of Mr. Walker himself, made in April last, by putrifying and steaming during the heat of the in a letter in answer to one of those writers. Mr. summer, might not be as injurious to the health of Kent, Chadwick then read a quotation from the letter. aye, to the metropolis itself, as the most efficient sub- Besides the sanitary results demonstrated, this particuterranean removal of sewage might be beneficial," it lar instance tended, in connexion with other evidence, was to be observed that by one set of authorities, at the to settle the extent of area required for the application least, the foundation of such apprehensions had been care of the sewage of a town population. At present the fully examined, and provisions made to meet them; andit ordinary sewage derived there from a thousand houses, was, doubtless, the duty of those who had the responsibility was directly applied to about five hundred acres, by of new works to re-investigate the subject, and to examine pumping, without any storeage; and there was an end the works in actual operation. The first scheme for to sewer marshes, or sewer lakes; but it sufficed only applying the sewage of the metropolis to other towns for an average of three or four dressings during the was proposed by the late Mr. Smith, of Deanston, and year. Mr. Walker, though satisfied with the results as was simply an application of the practice at Edin- they were, was of opinion that the refuse might be abburgh of applying it by submersion. The result of sorbed on half the area; and it appeared that two hunthe investigation of the Board of Health was to dred acres of ordinary drained land would suffice to establish sanitary objections to this system, as well as utilize the sewage of one thousand houses. On objections of an agricultural and economical nature. such a scale the sewage of the whole of the metroThe deodorising power of soils might be illustrated by polis might be utilized on an area of ten miles such common facts as that, when the cook had an square. Where land was obtainable, and he confined “ oniony" knife, it was the practice to put it in garden his objection to such a case, the intervention of mould, where it was soon perfectly deodorised. But by such a process as that proposed, was, he considered, Professor Way, and by Mr. Huxtable, those deodorising an unnecessary expense, a waste of engineering work, powers of the soils had been demonstrated scientifically of chemical matter, and a loss and deterioration of and experimentally, by passing sewage, or mixtures of manure. decomposing animal or vegetable matter, through a suf Mr. G. F. Wilson, F.R.S., said, having seen the works ficient stratum. Most persons who lived in the neigh- at Leicester in operation, he could bear testimony to the bourhood of the parks, at the period of top-dressings, apparent perfection of the numerous mechanical arrangehad been annoyed by the foul odours arising from this ments there, and to the complete manner in which the operation. Indeed, he had known frequent illness occa- sewage was deodorized and disinfected. The chemical sioned by them. Similar evils were at times expe- part of the process was less complete; through the unrienced during the heavy dunging and top-dressings of decomposed nitrogenous matter, some compounds of market-gardens with decomposing animal manures. Great urea, such as the oxalate and nitrate phosphates, soap loss also ensued; agriculturists agreed that two-thirds, or suds, and some other good manure could be saved by three-fourths, escaped in a gaseous form. The mode of pre- the lime process, precipitation, and filtration, yet amiventing this loss and nuisance was not to apply chemicals, monia, when once formed, could not be so. He thought, however, that in one chemical point of view the lec- “ drain, and lay down upon it pipes for the distribution of turer had not done Mr. Wicksteed's process justice; the sewer manure, and then re-let it, prepared for cultivathough lime would not fix ammonia, other bodies known tion, with a supply of the manure, on lease, and apply the to chemists would; and there was no doubt that greater surplus rents to the sanitary improvement of the town." chemical knowledge applied to the subject would intro- In 1853, Mr. Chadwick addressed a letter to the Home duce those bodies either in substitution for, or in addi- Secretary, in which he stated that there were ten towns tion to, the lime-magnesian limestone, for example. where inoffensive and beneficial distribution, by flexible Now it seemed to him that Mr. Wicksteed's process and pipe and jets, might be anticipated at an early date; apparatus afforded the great present good of rendering and, in 1856, the same gentleman read a paper at the sewage entirely innoxious and inoffensive; the further, Free Trade Congress of Brussels, in which he spoke of though less important, present good, of separating a con- a hundred towns in such a manner as to lead to siderable portion of the fertilizing matter; and the great the belief that they were about to derive crops and future good of supplying in operation a beautifully com- revenue from their sewage.-[Mr. Chadwick dissented.] plete apparatus, with appliances for precipitation, for -At any rate, such was the impression of Mr. Walker, conveying out the precipitate, and its separation, by fil- of Rugby, of himself (Mr. Sidney), and many others. tration, froin the water with which it was mixed, all at In this paper, at least, two examples only of enlightened once available when the body to fix the ammonia made cultivation were cited—the well-known liquid manure its appearance. Now he (Mr. Wilson) could not think, farm, of 170 acres, at Tiptree (where his worthy friend, even if the chemical knowledge would allow it (and we Mr. Mechi, never grew good corn crops, or good root crops, had now great scientific chemists) that the common until he followed the example of his neighbours, and sense of the country would not interfere to prevent any gave his wheat 30s, an acre of solid guano, and drilled such monstrous plan as that by which the enormously in a good dose of Lawes' superphosphate, with his manvaluable matter of the London sewers would be carried gold), and the sewage manure farm of Mr. Walker, at and allowed to run to waste into the German Ocean. Rugby, where, on 200 acres of grass land, on a wonderIf we waited until a combined mechanical and chemi- fully porous soil, a very good effect was produced by the cal process arrived at perfection, we should wait for liquid sewage in summer. Here, then, after all, were ever. How did great manufactures rise ? When a pro- just two towns, or, rather, villages, using town sewage cess had attained a moderate degree of perfection, it on the Deanston plan, Watford, where the machinery was put into operation; then improvements after did not as yet work successfully, and Rugby. But improvements were naturally suggested. The great the sewage manure theorists maintained that the thing was to get a good practical starting point, and absence of demand for the fertilising streams of cities was the meeting would, he thought, agree with him that to be attributed to the stupidity of the British farmer. Mr. Wicksteed had, at the very least, advanced thus far But had the farmer been standing still during the last at Leicester.
sixteen years? During that period a million sterling Mr. S. SIDNEY said this was the third time that the had been invested in manufactories for producing anvalue of sewage manure had been discussed by the nually hundreds of steam engines, threshing machines, Society of Arts. On the first occasion, he (Mr. Sidney) drills, horse-hoes, clod-crushers, ploughs, harrows, &c., characterised as wild exaggerations the poetical view which were eagerly bought up. During that period milwhich Mr. Mechi took of the refuse of cities. On lious had been sunk in draining, paid for by farmers' the second occasion, Mr. Bennet Lawes, in a most able rents; hundreds of thousands of tons of guano, costing paper, exhausted the chemical part of the question, and from £10 to £15 a ton, had been consumed. Manufaccame to the conclusion, that a distant limited applica- tories of another costly manure, superphosphate of lime, tion of sewage manure to grass land in a liquid state, had been established in every great town and every agwas its only profitable use; and now Mr. F. Cooke, in ricultural district. These manufacturers imported bones, his very candid paper, was content to take manufactured bone ashes, and burned flesh from South America; they solid sewage, at from 2s. to 4s. per ton, a price that ransacked even the battle-fields of Europe for the same would not bear the cost of carriage, as he (Mr. Sidney) invaluable material; they imported apatite from Norhad shown in former discussions. This theory of the way; and they did all this while sewage lay at their enormous value of town sewage was not new. The doors, offered to them gratis, and yet they did not find late ingenious Mr. Smith, of Deanston, was the author it worth while to accept it. After bringing forward of a theory, that town sewage could be converted into other instances in support of his views, Mr. Sidney said a source of revenue-a theory which the late Board of that in thus following out the history of British agriculHealth had employed, in order to bribe many towns to ture it was impossible to doubt that the profitable use of enter into costly and unprofitable schemes of town liquid manure must depend on special and exceptional drainage. In 1848, Mr. Smith, of Deanston, in a report circumstances, as, for instance, where it could by gravicirculated under the authority of the Board of Health, tation be cheaply applied to grass land, of a quality suffiwrote-" Assuming that 5 cwt. of sewer water is equal ciently porous to absorb it. At Rugby it flowed away to 2 cwt. of guano—that the sewer water of every town rapidly enough; yet even there it could not be all used, was worth £1 per head per annum (that would give three and the river was polluted. But few soils were like that millions sterling for London); and that, therefore, such of the Rugby farm. If he were asked why we neglect an income annually would provide a fund for the improve- British, and send so far for Peruvian guano, at more than ment of all towns in a manner corresponding with the most one hundred times the price of the home production, he enlightened views with respect to sanitary regulations.'" would answer, why do we drink China tea instead of A very little inquiry served to show, that while 21 cwt. British herbs, Eastern sugar instead of British honey? of guano was worth 30s., and would produce an increase Why do we wear American cotton and Italian silk, instead of six bushels of wheat per acre over ordinary crops, of British home-spun? Why do we prefer rosewood to the same quantity of sewage water was all but value- British oak? Why toast our friends in foreign chamless. Nevertheless, in the first report of the Board of pagne instead of the domestic gooseberry? Because the Health, dated July, 1849, it was said, “That in the foreign article was cheaper at the higher price. local works which it is necessary to execute for the Mr. Sheriff Mechi begged to state, in a very few sanitary improvement of towns, an entirely new system words, the results of his own practical experience on this of sewerage must be combined with a new system of subject, and, in the first place, he would remark, that house drainage, with a new system of water supply, and the earth was the best and cheapest deodoriser that they with a new system of removing and of applying the had. So effective was it that where he had applied refuse of towns to agriculture." And Local Boards of large quantities of liquid manure of the strongest Health were recommended to enclose waste land, description, saturated with the dead bodies of animals in