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UTILISING SEWAGE.

London has constructed a sewer 27 [miles long, to convey the sewage from her 4,000,000 population out to sea, where it will be beyond the influence of the tide. This is an annual waste of 8,000,000 dol. worth of the best fertilisers. New York and vicinity washes the sewage of 2,000,000 population into the rivers to be alternately carried by the tide up and down the streams and inlets for twenty-five miles around. Chicago washes her sewage into the lake from which she also draws her water supply. Philadelphia draws her water supply from the river and returns her sewage lower down to pay the draft. St. Louis washes the sewage of a population of 500,000 down the Mississippi, while a very large number of the cities of less size empty their sewage into the rivers or bury it in vaults. All of this is waste, a shameful waste of the health and fertility of the country. The same amount of what is thus thrown away, washed into streams to render them foul and obnoxious to health, must be returned to the soil some way, to keep up the fertility. The immense proportion of the fertility of the soil which is annually removed from farms and sent to be consumed in cities and washed away, will at no distant day, so impoverish the soil as to cause a serious deterioration in value and productiveness. If we go back eastward along the track of westward-extending civilisation, we shall see but barren plains and plague spot, wornout, wasted and desolated, where oace were great empires and dense populations. Only so far as the tendency to sterility is resisted, are the present nations enabled to exist. The soil from the far East along the path of empire westward, is, steadily becoming impoverished, and it is a simple problem to dlaobyet how soda Americans must| re-

m ive westward or save the fertilising elements of their soils. Some attempts at utilising sewage have been made in England, and it is stated that a large proportion of the Paris sewage is employed to irrigate the plain of Gennevilliers below the city uponthe banks of the Seine, and that the result affords a lesson to all other places, of what may be done. That the sewage of all cities could be drawn to some convenient -localityand there converted iob) fertilisers, is anapparent fact. That from a large city itwoultd be a profit-ih'e business, there is no question. Ad street refuse an 1 sewage, should be collected and returned ti the soils aud when systematically undertaken, this disposal of fertilisers will .add both to the health of the city an I the wealth of the. country.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18800527.2.21.9

Bibliographic details

UTILISING SEWAGE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880, Supplement

Word Count
451

UTILISING SEWAGE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880, Supplement

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