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The Borough Council are notoriously' short of funds, and such being the case they are not very powerful to do anything in the direction of improving the drainage of the town. This is to be regretted for several reasons, but more especially that the lower parts of the town are made a depot for all the sewage of the upper parts. At last meeting of the Council a deputation appeared, and stated a grievance regarding Burnett Street that has been so frequently stated, without remedy applied, the sufferers must bo pretty well heart-sick with hope deferred. But not only are the residents in the immediate vicinity of the source of the nuisance sufferers by the faultiness of the drain, but all along the line of the street where the channel is supposed to run the inhabitants arc subjected to the disagreeable and dangerous influence of the rotting sewage, until the Town Belt is reached. In the street itself, to some extent — though to bo sure a very limited one—the slight fall helps to conduct a certain portion of the offensive liquid away ; but at the Town Bolt the fall ceases, and as a result the residents there are treated to an accumulation of (as a correspondent bluntly and perhaps somewhat hyperbolically put it last week), ‘‘ a discharge at their doors of all the sewage of tfie town.” The injustice is at once apparent of making one portion of the town the depot of the liquid refuse of all the others, and it is to be hoped that some steps will be taken to remedy the evil. Some time ago a raid was made by the then Inspector of Nuisances upon the hotel and boarding-house keepers with a view to abate the nuisance in some measure, but the prosecution fell through owing to the badly prepared state of the evidence adduced, and the miscarriage loft things in statu quo. Ever since, complaints have been made of the state of the clrinage, but more especially that of Burnett street, which, from its low-lying position, is perhaps the most difficult street in the town to keep sweet in the absence of the outfall drain of which wo heard so much some time ago, hut memories of the Council’s discussions on it are now only called up by the smell its absence regales us with. There can be no doubt as to where the nuisance in Burnett street takes its rise, and until that is stopped, or the outfall drain made, the greviance complained of must continue. Tfie proprietor of the Somerset Hotel, in a letter to tfie Council, pointed out that every day he sent a large volume of clean water down the Burnett street channel, and otherwise did his best to purify it. Had the outfall drain been in working order this flushing would be invaluable, but, as it is, tire flushing is an addition to the grievance of the Town Bolt residents, for it gives volume to a stream of sewage that might not otherwise be persuaded to travel more than a chain or two, and as there is really no outlet, the flushing, while it may help the dwellers in the "street, is an injury to those at tfie end of it. Whatever the consequences, something must be done with the drainage if the town is to preserve its good name for health, and already the number of bouses in Burnett street that have been empty this summer show iu what esteem that locality is held. An injury is being done to the Burnett street property' that sooner or later proprietors will kick against, and they have no more right to bo saddled with tiie filth of East street than the Town Belt has to be made the depot of the township’s sewage. In fact, so far as justice is concerned, unless an outfall and flushing are provided they would be acting as fairly by others as others are acting by them were they to dam the channels, and force back upon the originators of the nuisance the sewage that is forced down upon them. We trust action of some sort will be taken early. If the channels can by any possibility be put to rights and a free course provided for the sewage away from everybody, danger will be removed, and the present nuisance abated. This is the duty of the Council, and we hope they will make a move in that direction at the first available opportunity, even if it be only by some temporary if efficient make shift until they are in a position to lay down a permanent scheme.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 50, 20 January 1880

Word Count

WANT OF DRAINAGE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 50, 20 January 1880