The thorough removal of refuse matter, solid and liquid, from buildings and their vicinity, is indispensable to healthy life. Neglect of this is a cause of a vast number of preventable diseases.

Why Filth Produces Disease.—Accumulations of filth about houses taints air, water and soil. Septic particles, or ferments, given off in the putrefaction of organic matter, evolve the seeds of many diseases. Typhoid and enteric fevers are thus engendered. Privies and privy drainage and soakage have given rise to typhoid epidemics. Cholera, dysentery and allied diseases spring from the same source. Many other diseases owe their origin to filth poisons. Many suppose that consumption may be due to filth particles. Filth is the breeding place of the germs of diptheria and other fatal diseases.

Safety in Cleanliness.—All refuse matter calculated to poison air, water or soil near a dwelling should be sedulously removed. This necessity exists everywhere, in city as well as in country.

Sources of Air and Water Pollution.—Nuisances traceable to air and water pollution are:

1. Defects of public sewerage.

2. Defects of house drainage.

3. Faults of cess-pool arrangement. No cess-pool should exist as a simple hole in the ground. It should be walled or bricked dry, and the bottom laid similarly. It should be frequently cleansed. No wells should be near it.

House Drainage.—Every house drain should insure the removal of all liquid refuse, waste-water and fecal matter, without leakage. The pipes should be of iron or earthen ware, for at least eight or ten feet distant from the house; but if a spring or well be near the piping should continue far beyond it. All pipes should be laid in a bed of clay, and the joints firmly cemented. Cement beds for pipes are the best.

Flushing of House-Drains.—All house-drains should be occasionally flushed by pouring large bodies of water into them. Field's flush tank is used for the purpose of flushing drains in the country.

Rain-Water Leaders.—A convenient plan of disposing of rain water is to pass it through the drain pipes. This affords an excellent flush, but care must be taken against freezing in winter; all conductors of rain water should be kept outside the house, lest the back gases should enter the house.

Dry System of Removing Excreta.—The dry system is adapted to towns and villages and to single cottages. It consists in the admixture of dried earth, coal ashes, or other dried refuse, with the excrement in sufficient quantity to absorb and reduce it to an inodorous form. The absorbent material must be perfectly dry, and must be applied immediately, and in sufficient quantity to cover the excretions and remove all fluidity. All slops and sink water and solid matter must be carefully excluded. In rural districts this plan can be made very satisfactory, but in towns it is seldom that the removal takes place sufficiently often to meet the requirements of the case. The receptacles should be made of impervious materials, and the closet should be located either out of doors, or in an isolated part of the building, or in an apartment projecting from the house. The apartment should be well ventilated.

The Earth-Closet System.—Moule's earth-closet system comes under the head of the dry-removal systems, and is the plan with which the public is most familiar. On account of the absorbing and deodorizing qualities of dried earth, this substance is selected for use in closets, especially within the house. The original apparatus, designed by Mr. Moule, consists of a wooden box divided into two main compartments. The lower one contains a receptacle or pail for the sewage, and the upper one the reservoir or hopper from which the dried earth is supplied in requisite quantity whenever the closet is used. The hopper in the upper part of the apparatus is capable of holding an ordinary coal-scuttle full of earth. A plug is attached to its outlet, and is operated by a lever connected with a handle. Beneath the seat is a guard, which directs the dried earth into the pail without allowing any of it to escape at the sides.

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Last Modified: Monday, 13-May-2013 15:31:47 EDT