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the water into a tank in the stable, from which it is drawn for use. The drainage of the house is far removed from the well. The water was good during the winter, but in the spring it developed a very offensive odor and became so rusty that it could not be used for washing clothing. The water was not used for drinking purposes since last May until recenly; then it was used only two days. A case of typhoid fever occurred in the family.



Odor, some ; color, little milky or turbid; evaporation, foamy; residue, little yellowish and circles ; ignition of residue, it blackens; total solids, 3.6 grains; loss on ignition, 1.2; hardness, 1.5 degrees ; alkalinity, i degree ; chlorine, -3; free ammonia, a trace only; albuminoid ammonia, .218; nitric acid, mere trace; nitrous acid, none; strong trace of iron; sediment, little; vegetable cells; bacteria; fungi; spores; oxygen for oxidation, .4368.

Opinion : This water contains sufficient vegetable matter to condemn it.

Dr. Chandler furnished the following information:

Distance of the well from any building, 170 feet; depth, 12 feet; average depth of water, 6 feet. It is located in a mowing field which is flat, or nearly so. The soil is a rich, muddy loam, and has been manured from time to time. The grade of the curb of the well is but a few inches above its surroundings. The young man who died of typhoid fever had lived in the family using the water only about four weeks before he was taken sick. His general health had not been the best, and his system seemed ripe for the reception of the typhoid germ. Dr. Chandler carefully searched for the cause of this case, and could find it nowhere unless it was in the water. The analysis confirmed his suspicion.


N. H., SEPTEMBER 18, 1889. Odor, musty; color, slight; evaporation, quiet; residue, uniform and gray; residue darkens some on ignition; chlorine, 16.8; free ammonia, .01; albuminoid ammonia, .124; nitric acid, 23.1; nitrous acid, considerable; iron, strong trace ; sediment, little; bacteria ; infusoria ; fungi; spores; oxygen for oxidation, .036.

Opinion : This water is badly polluted, and wholly unfit for drinking purposes. The following communication was received from Dr. Ingalls :

BELMONT, N. H., Sept. 21, 1889. Prof. Angell:

DEAR SIR, - I send you to-day a brief history of the well and surroundings of buildings where I have a case of typhoid fever, as you know, resulting from

drinking impure water. If it will do any good to the public, I am only too glad to report such cases, for I am a firm believer that too much of our sickness results from pure carelessness in drainage and not regarding the sanitary conditions of our homes, especially the farms.

For the past year we have had several severe cases of typhoid fever and diph. theria, and most of them have been found on the grand old farms, and were directly traceable to foul sink-drains and polluted drinking-water. The facts in this case (which is a fair sample of many others) are as follows: The farm is one of the oldest in town. Here have lived several families, but for the last twenty-five years more or less sickness has resulted, especially in the last ten years. And no wonder, for, as the outline will show, distance from sink to well, 4 feet; the dotted lines represent a lead pipe from sink to cesspool, which is only 5 feet from well; the hogpen, with privy emptying into it, is 16 feet from well; and when we remember that well, cesspool, hog-pen, and privy were all under one floor, for in this case there seemed to be a desire to get everything as near the bottom of the well as possible, and all within an area of at least 30 feet, we do not wonder what caused so much sickness; and the only thing that prevented a severe outbreak here was that the bright young farmer who has just purchased this place saw the danger, and had already commenced extensive repairs, but, as the analysis of the water proved, it was too late to prevent his family from succumbing to typhoid fever.

Respectfully yours,


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The following cases illustrate the kind of water which may cause diphtheria : SANITARY ANALYSIS OF WATER FOR C. H. HOLCOMB, M. D.,

BROOKLINE, N. H., APRIL 5, 1888. Odorless ; color, yellowish tint; evaporation, quiet ; residue, uniform and brownish; total solids, 25.7 grains; loss on ignition, 2.7; residue blackens intensely on ignition ; hardness, 5.5 degrees ; alkalinity, 2.5 degrees; chlorine, 4.9; free ammonia, .08; albuminoid ammonia, .19; much nitric acid ; trace of nitrous acid; sediment, little ; few infusoria and bacteria.

Opinion: This water is badly polluted, and wholly unfit for drinking purposes.

There was a case of diphtheria in the family using this water. This clipping was taken from the “Boston Herald”: “ Terrible ravages of diphtheria in a New Hampshire family. Peterborough N. H., June 24, 1889. O. J. Nutting, aged 38, pail manufacturer, died to-day of diphtheria. One of his children died of the same disease May 19; two others, June 16, and a fourth one, June 17. The widow alone survives.”

The following is the analysis of the water which this family used :

REPORT DATED JUNE 25, 1889. Odorless; color, slightly yellowish; evaporation, quiet; residue, uniform and white; residue changes color slightly on ignition; reaction, alkaline; chlorine, .8; free ammonia, .252; albuminoid ammonia, .04; much nitric acid ; no nitrous acid ; sediment, little; tissue of some kind; bacteria ; decomposing matter.

Opinion : This water is polluted. It should not be used for domestic purposes. SANITARY ANALYSIS OF WATER FOR J. H. BROWN, HEALTH OFFI

CER, EXETER, N. H., APRIL 27, 1889. Odorless ; color, little yellowish; evaporation, quiet; residue, yellowish, but uniform ; residue darkens but little on ignition; total solids, 15.9: loss on ignition, 7.4; hardness, 4.7 degrees; alkalinity, I; chlorine, 2.4; free ammonia, .133; albuminoid ammonia, .034 ; nitric acid, 1.68; trace of nitrous acid; sediment, extremely slight; microscopic examination shows nothing important : oxygen for oxidation, .007; zinc, trace ; iron, trace.

Opinion : This is bad water. It is probably contaminated by vault or drain.

Mr. Brown gave this information :
The well is located in the cellar of the L of the house.

It is raised about a

foot above the surface of the cellar. The water is drawn through iron pipe. In the woodshed, which is two stories high and a part of the house, is located a vault large enough for two families; it is made of brick, cemented on the inside when built, but it has scaled off badly. When it rains, the water from the building runs into it at the top, which makes a very bad place. At the time of the diphtheria the vault had not been emptied for two years, and was full to overflowing; a horrid smell penetrated the whole house. The vault was by actual measurement 20 feet 6 inches from the well. The sink water was carried to the public sewer about one year ago. Both families had recently moved into the house. The family that had the diphtheria had been in the house about five months, the other about two months. There were two cases of diphtheria, one fatal. The attending physician said the case was the worst he ever saw survived.



MERRIMACK, N. H., SAMPLE “WHEELER WELL," JANUARY 14, 1889. Odorless; colorless; evaporation, quiet; residue, uniform and gray; ignition of residue, it darkens some; total solids, 14.3; loss on ignition, 2.6; hardness 3.5; alkalinity, 2.5 degrees ; chlorine, .2; free ammonia, .025; albuminoid ammonia, .09; some nitric acid ; no nitrous acid; lead, .04 grain per gallon ; sediment, slight.

Opinion : This water contains fully enough lead; the amount of albuminoid ammonia is almost as high as allowable for well water.

SAMPLE “ WILSON WELL." Odorless ; colorless; evaporation, quiet ; residue, uniform and grayish ; residue darkens some on ignition ; total solids, 5.2; loss on ignition, 9; hardness, 3 degrees; alkalinity, 3 degrees; chlorine, .4; free ammonia, .022; albuminoid ammonia, .054; little nitric acid; no nitrous acid ; lead, .12 grain per gallon; sediment, little.

Opinion: Remove the lead, and this is excellent water. The lead is in large excess.

Dr. Pillsbury subsequently furnished the following information:

In the Wheeler water organic matter was suspected, and possibly lead; but no strong symptoms of lead poison occurred in the family.

In the Wilson family, three out of six were suffering from what was supposed to be lead poisoning. The water is brought to the house through a lead pipe from a spring 20 rods distant. The use of the water was discontinued, and the patients improved.

Another sample of water analyzed for Dr. Pillsbury, June 28, 1889, contained .084 grain of lead per gallon. The family suffered from lead poisoning. Frequently a water which contains considerable organic matter acts upon lead more freely, because the excess of carbonic acid arising from decaying substances dissolves the coating of carbonate formed upon the metal. The water in the following example may have received its poisonous quantity of lead from this cause :


COOK, N. H., FEBRUARY 21, 1889. Odor like that of a drain; color, blackish brown and turbid ; evaporation, quiet; residue, uniform but brown, and blackens quite strongly on ignition ; chlorine, .4; free ammonia, I1; albuminoid ammonia, .104; some nitric acid; no nitrous acid; lead, .086 grain per gallon; iron, .78 grain; sediment, some; bacteria ; scales of epithelium and spores of fungi.

Opinion : This water is not fit for drinking purposes, on account of the lead it contains. The amount of iron also condemns it. It is contaminated also with organic matter.

Dr. Larabee gave this information:

A man about fifty years old had been sick, but not confined to the house, all winter, with a bronchial trouble. After moving into the house supplied with this water, he was taken with severe pain across the lumbar region and stomach, also bowels. He was unable to retain anything on his stomach, and died after occupying the place about one week.

Diseases of a peculiar nature, resembling lead poisoning, are caused by drinking impure water. The following will serve to illustrate them :


FIELD, N. H., JANUARY 26, 1889.

Odorless; color, milky and turbid ; evaporation, very foamy; residue, yellowish and full of small patches; it blackens strongly on ignition; chlorine, 1.3; free ammonia, .026; albuminoid ammonia, -352; considerable nitric acid; much nitrous acid; lead, a trace; sediment, some; cyclops quadricornis fungi; bacteria.

Opinion : This water is badly polluted, and wholly unfit for drinking and cooking purposes.

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