Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Contaminated Drinking Water Causes Typhoid and Diarrheal Diseases; Can Chlorine Help? 1917

“State Board of Health Demonstrates Chlorinator,” from the editorial page of the Hickory Daily Record, March 10, 1907; S.H. Farabee, editor.
For the purpose of demonstrating the method of water purification by means of liquid chlorine, the most modern and scientific method of sterilizing water now in use, the state board of health has acquired a portable chlorinator for making the demonstrations, and makes an announcement that it will be glad to illustrate the working of the apparatus or lend it for testing purposes or in emergency cases to municipal authorities interested in having pure water.
The advantages claimed for the liquid chlorine method over other methods of sterilizing water are that besides being thoroughly efficient as a sterilizing agent, it produces no tastes or odor, it is more reliable than other sterilizing agents and prevents all after-growth subsequent to sterilization.
As to the efficiency of this device, the water department of New York City, after careful investigation, decided to change from the hyprochlorite method to the chlorine method with the result that about 525,000,000 gallons daily are being sterilized. At least one town in this state, Wilmington, uses this method and makes the statement that the results are satisfactory.
“The value of a pure water supply,” says the state board of health, “is a sort of a life insurance for the people, the value of which has been estimated to be 10 cents per capita for every unit decreased in the typhoid fever death rate which it brings about. On the other hand, for every death of typhoid that can be shown to be due to a polluted water supply, the same is charged with the average value of a productive life which is $5,000. But the value of a good water supply is not only a reduced typhoid rate. Other diseases, particularly diarrheal diseases of children, are also affected by it.”

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