THE OTAGO WITNESS.
DUNEDIN, SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 15G2. L\ our i^sne of last week we took occasion once more to comment upon the sad want of pro pur sanitary provUi )»<? in Dunediti, r.nd pointe;l out that the two <*ieat essentials of a healthy city wuc ])ropcr drainage and a, sufficient supply of pure an 1 wholesome water. Our limits, on that occasion, would not allow us to dwell upon both branches of this important subject, iiiid we were, therefore, lain to confine our attention to the drain i<rc question But that of water supply is no les.s important, and v,e now propose to direct the attention of o.;r readers to it, in the hope that we may be successful in inducing some of thy mom influential and wealthy inhabitant to take up the subject in earnest, and either to bring such influence to bjur as may in.lnce the Government to undertake the work; or else, takiiv the matter into their own hands, to form a private company for the purpose of pioxiding | the city with water. >So long ;'■! iJunedin was vi\]y occupie.l by a small and scattered population, the numerous streamlets lliat were to be ibun 1 trickling through every little gully were amply sufKctent to supply all tho wants of the inhabitants. It would have been absurd to wish for a more abundant supply, or for a purer and sv.'eeler wider than was to be obtained from these little burns, where the clear and uncoutaminated elemci.t iiowtd in limpid streams amon^ stones nnd rocks, making music with its littlo cascades beneath the cooling shade of the dense vegetation of the Xcw Zealand forest. .But population came, the overshadowing trees were cut down, the pebbly beds or rocky bottom's were disturbed ■ orfilLd up; thconce pure elenn'nf was contaminated v.ith the foul and feculent deposits that accumulate i.) tho neighborhood of human habitations; the remains of dead animals, deca\in<( vegettble matter, every Kind and desciiptioii of abomination, naturally found its way to the lowest; ground, where the once pure water ran, and tho ttreatn, instead of the clix r of health; became the veiy concentration of doleteriou-3 elements. Yet no other I source of supply was open to the inhabitant", and they vero thus compelled to continue to use the foul c and unwholesome iluid for all domestic purposes, and the eulhas gone on increising until now it is becoming almost unendurable. Medical men inform us that the water which flows through thi g-illies i* now, in every instance, in a condition highly dangerous to health ; that it is clunked with organic matter in a state of decomposition, and that in tha v condition it is apt to cause diarrhea, dysentery, and lever. \Te learn also that these disease^ are always more or less prevalent in ihs (own, and that they are the worst in those localities where the water is the foulest, and wheie, owing to the defective drainage, it is mo.st likely to stagnate and produce the ilnngeroas miasmata th it arise from water in that oiuhlion. An improved draiingo system might do much to mitigate the evils arising i'lom the g'ises from stagnant water, but it couM only in a very slight decree affect the 'li'ii'tivuai" <i««««.IIt;c-.«t' tiic water it«clfj as tiie impuritL-. with -which it ib cha/ged are in liiost instances ta!:en up duri-.ij its pa-;sige down the gullies, and bjibre it gets into tlie low ground iv the heart of the town, which would be principally alfccted by the drainage. It must bo borne in mind also, that the quality of the water afi'ects the i.ilribitants of the hills as well as of the rallies, lor the same source of "water supply is all that is available for both. Attempts have been made to meet the difficulty in some localities by sinking well*, but these wells are only shallow, and although there can be no doubt that the water obtained firm below the surface, and winch has boon li l tercel through the soil must be purer than that taken (iom the streams tllemselvo-., yet it is only surface water after all. If these well.-; were deep and the supply wore thus derived from underground springs, the ca«c wotili! hedilllrent, but oveiithen thesupply tint eovkl be drawn from any ordinary wells must of neee-^ity be small and totally insufficient to supply all the wants of a Urge nnd settled population. We ha\e as yet only alluded to the question of water supply as affecting the health and comfort of the people, hut there is another consideration of almost equal importance, and that is, the necessity of some proper provision for the extinction of fires. The imminence of the danger of fire in a city bui't principally of wood cannot ihil to be apparent to the least observant or the most thoughtless, and the total lack of means of coping with the drcid enemy, has been matter of astonishment to all who have given the subject a moment's consideration. We are well aware that this is no new complaint that we make ; we have not forgotten how often it has been reiterated in our own columns and those of our contemporaries, but until something is done to diminish the double danger to health and property arising from the want of a copious and easily available supply of pure water, we shall feel it our duty to still urge to complaint, and to still repeat the warning. It has not escaped our recollection that so long ago as 18.5!) the evils to which we have above alluded were seen, and an investigation made into the supplies that could be counted on for the service of the town. The result was an official report from Mr. J. T. Thompson, to which we shall presently have to refer more particularly. "We have shown that even three years ago, before the m«h of population, induced by the gold discoveries, the want of a proper supply of water had begun to be felt, and had occupied the attention of the authorities ; we have pointed out that the want has of late increased to an absolute necessity, and we have expressed our opinion as to the duty that devolves upon the more influential inhabitants to take some action in the matter, cither by forcing the consideration of the subject on the attention of the Government, or by themselves taking it in hand. We are, however, well aware that what is acknowledged to be the duty of everyone is apt to be attended to by nobody, and we shall not, therefore, rest content with a mere appeal to the sense of duty, but shall now direct our remarks to arouse the more powerful motive of self-interest, in its most concentrated form, as affecting the breeches pocket. Jt is an acknowledged principle in all business affairs, that the surest way to success is to supply a positive public want. This is so generally recognised, and is so pitent to reason, that it is usually looked upon as a rule that supply will follow demand. It is, moreover, found that an increase of demand invariably ensues upon the abundant supply of any article. Now, as regards the supply of water, the case, as we Ihue shown, stands thus, that there is an enormous and constantly increasing demand, and that that demand would increase upon a still more rapid ratio if the supply were to be forthcoming. Our meaning, we trust, is clear. There is a splendid opening for capital and enterprise in the
supply of this demand, for an article with the use of which, nobody can altogether dispense, j and tho consumption of which is invariably i found to increase proportionately to the abun- ■ dance of the supply. A Water Company cs- J tablished on a sound basis, with a sufficient capital, and with proper management, could not liiil to Le a highly remunerative and perfectly safe speculation. In the principal towns of England tho water companies are almost universally found to be the most prosperous of all tlu: numerous joint stock companies that are formed for the supply of the various public wants ; and in the Colonies the same remarks will to a great extent apply. We- are satisfied th.it a public compaivy formed for tho supply of Du'iedin, witu water, and directed by competent business men, will prove a paying concern as a business speculation merely, and without reference to the advantages that the shareholders (supposing them to be local residents and property holders) would derive from the increased safety of their property, the diminution of their insurance expenses, and the improved health of their families. We look upon this as a matter that can hotter be dealt with by a private company than by Government, and we have, therefore, avoide I more than a c isual reference to the possibility of the Government undertaking it. Still, ii' the Government should be inclined to undertake the work a precedent is to be found iv Victoria, where the supply of Melbourne was undertaken by tho Government, and the magnificent Van Y~ean works were the result. It is i rue that as a commercial speculation the Van Yean can hardly yet be regarded as a success, but its failure "in that respect is solely to be attributed to the cootly, and, indeed, wasteful manner in which '.he work was carried out, and to no inherent fault in the scheme itsdf. It was in fact a Government job, and as such it is no wonder that it was expensively about. A private company would most probably have madi a haudsoma profit out of it. With regard to the source* from which a company might derive its supplies, we are able, from Air. Thompson's rcpjrt, above referred to, to state a few pi au facts of a highly satisfactory nature. Mr. Thompson, from careful observations of the streamlets running through Maeiaggan-strect;, Londonstreet, and l!e<te:it-road, the Xort-east Valley stream, the Kaikorai, aud the Water of Leith, calculated that the minimum supply ol' wat-r from those different streams, was equal to -1,9'i8,930 gillons per day, or sufficient to ft.i,);)!y 30 gallons a head to 101,6:2;) pjrson"! duly. By another estimate, in which the ' storm water was taken into account, he rec- | kwiud t.i.it 14,80.3,450 gallons, or enough, at the same rate, to supply 493,J15 persons, could be calculated on daily. Mr. Thompson pi-(. posed to tike the water of one or more of the htivamlets flowing through tie town, and to conduct it to reservoirs, placed in cmveuient situations, from which it could be distributed lor the service of the cit}\ I lie did not propose to meddle with the larger streams until the population to be Mipplied should exceed ten thousand. The necea.-.ary works for the supply of a population of less than 10,000 persons he estiI mite 1 could be constructed at a cist not oxe^ding 30s. per head, or say at an outlay of ..£ 1.5,000. Tlie appropriation of the waters of the Kaikorai, and the Water of Leith, would be a more expensive affair, but still not by any means formidable. From these figures it- will be seen that a prunu facie case is made out for the success of any conipiny that might be started, ami that is all that we had set before us at the present time. We do not say that these figures arc absolutely correct ; the estimate of the amount of supply, and o( the cost, may be faulty, but still it may be taken as an approximation. It would bo of cuirse the first business of tiie promoters of a water company to employ competent men to verify the observations an I calculations of Mr. Thompson, nnd nt the xmie to inquire a3 to whether any other, aud possibly more eligible, fource of supply might not be available. It bby no means certain that it might not be better to look further afield; tlure is no positive reason why the supply should he dr.iivn from the immediate neighbourhood of the town. For example, the Van Yean resevoir, to which we luive before aliiried, is fully t.u:iVy miles distant from Melbourne by the road, and at least sixteen in a diroct line. Hut thchO are matters of detail, and may be s.iilly kft to be determined by the skilled knowledge of engineers. It is su(ii.:iout for us to know that tlure is water in abundance to bo had at our vory dwrs, and tint a very modor.ito outlay of capital would make it available : if it be brought from a greater distance, it will only be because it can bo done better, or at less expensj.
We are surprised that our contemporary, the Colonial, should prostitute its columns to th'j publication of oarse and foul jokes, which, however excusable among school-boys who know U) hotter, or among those whose only ideas of wit are based on filth and indecency, are sc.irojly to be looked for iv the pages of n journal intended to be hid upon tho family bro.ikf.isttablc. It is quite possible that tho Canto bury Standard in which the disgusting o')3C3nity first appeared, may have been what is vulgarly termed "j-ohl," the more especially as tho misprinting of two letters in tho supposed inscription fuoi'b tUe supposition. In tiu Colonist, however, the paragraph is qmtod iv so conspicuous a manner, and attention is so elaborately directed to it by the remarks accompanying, that it aim is t ini-po-isiblc to suppose that, it has boau innocently inserted, the more especially as the joke, such as it it--, is one with which every 6'chool-boy is familiar. The Princes:; Theatres has, during the last few days, bjen closed for the purpose of completing the new decorations, but the company bis been pei running at the Courmrci.tl Hotel C.mccrfc Uooin. whore, in spite of the onfi.iel space, they have contrived to nightly amuse full audiences. Tiie late mild weather has had a very notkoable edict upon vegetation; already many trees are beginning to shoot, among which may hf noticed gooseberries, carrautj, and other fruit tices. The time for the reception of Pamphlets on tho advantages of Separation, has been extended to the l'Jth August. It is satisfactory to find that; tho importance of the Southern Provinces of New Zealand, however little thought of by the authorities in the North, is fully rocogiiuud elsewhere. It will be sLV-n by a>i advertise-nent in another column, thiil the Auslr.ilhn Steam Navigation Company have arranged for laying on steamers from Sydney to the Southern Torts of New Zcal.ind, and thai the first vessel will sail oti the Ist September. We are still unable to publish tin full returns of tho Bruce Election, the report from the Clutha not having yot CJino in, bat it is by no raems probabletli.it the pilling iv that lwility will aftdct the result. Iv tho Tokouiiriro District the most uiuojou.itabl'j apathy w»u lnanifjjtol, the total number of votoj pollul tharc being only IS, of which 11 were for Baldwin and 7 for Cii-gill. Tiie poll, therefore, as far as known, stands as follows : — Cargill — Dimodin, 55, Taieri, 11, Tokomairiro, 7, totil 73. Baldwin — Dunedin, 10, Taieri, '62, Tokomairiru, 11, total s;j ; thus showing v majority foe (J irgill on the returns yet to hand of 20 votes. There Uno reason to expect that the number of votes polled at the Glulha will have boon sufficient to affect tho majority, and Mr. Cargill's return may therefore be looked ugon as certain.
A curious case came before the Resident Magistrate yesterday. A man sued Mr. Watson, a publicm, for the value of a cheese, which it appeared ho had taken to fie house with tlis intention of raffling ; but the owner getting drunk, the company in the room bej in tasting the cheese at so rapid a rate, that some twenty-five pounds of it disappeared. It is almost needless to say that the case was dismissed. There seems to be considerable difficulty in disposing of the Cor.miandcl gold. Tho Daily Southern Cross, says: — "On Saturday forenoon the very spacioui auction mart of Mr. Stannus Jones, Brims .viek Buildings, was over-crowded hy the company that assembled to witness the novel sale of aurifero'is quartz specimens, weighing in all 18lbs. 6£oz3. Mr. Jones invited the company upstairs to the music hall, where there was greater space ; aud thereupon submitted the specimens. The competition wii3 not spirited. Few .were awaro of tha probable value of the specimens, and a disinclination was manifested by most present to bi I. The Welcome Nugget, weighing 9U>3, s'>/,3,, as weighed at the Bank of New South Wales, was bought by Mr. Samuel Cochrane, for £1.50, c.ish. Another specimen, weighing 23ozs , was also bought by Mr. S. Cochrane, for which he paid £32. Mr. Lewia James, of the Q.C.E., bought another specimen weighing .IJo^s., for £4 ss/ Mr. Stannus Jenes purch ued a 2 ioz. specimen for £30. The rest of t'.ie specimens were withdrawn. Mr. Jones sold the speci-nsns five of commission. We learn from our Auckland correspondent that the diggers at Corom.mdel have been working under very discouraging circumstances. The season has been the most stormy and wet that has been experienced in Auckland for many years, and the miners have had to carry their provisions for three or four miles along a frightful bush track. Tliosa who have not experienesi it can form no ideas of the ditScalties attendant upon a tramp through tho underwojl of a New Zealand foiest. Generally mere cattle tracks, the roads are in the winter almost impassable, and the dense character of thu foliage shuts out the rays of tho sun, and keeps tho atmosphere in a continuously humid stato. The snow and frost of the Oiago gold-fields arc preferable to the weather tho Coromaudel miners have experienced. An accident, which might have been attended with very serious consequences, occurred yesterday morning in Princes-street. A butchers' lad hal very imprudently taken his horse on to the asphalt pavement to deli/er some meat. On turning his horse's head towards the kerb, the animal slipped bjth ths f n-e-feefc under it, and fell over on its side, the rider being beneath. The lad was immediately extricated from beneath the h )rse, fortunately without sustaining any injuries bjyoud a fe« r bai'ises. This is the scco id acciJeut of a similar nature which has occurred during the week.
DREDFUL ACCIDENT AT SADDLE HILL. TWO AVOIICX lar.LED OX TUU SPOT. A shocking acui'dent occurred last evening at Saddle Hill, not far from the Burgiddie Hotel. A light covered waggon known as Hardy's E<presß, which lias for some time been plying between Dunedin and the gold fields, was on the ro.id oat from town, and about 7 o'clock in the evening, in pussiug along a pjivt of the road where it is cut in the steep side of the hill, the conveyance went over tho bank and was violently precipitated into the gaily below, instantly killing- two funnies who were travelling by it as pasocjngeis. The p.irueiuaro of this sad aKiir, as nanrly as we cum learn, arc as follows : — [a descending a rather stee;> slope on the hill side, the ott horse shied, im.l the driver, noticing the danger of gjiny over the bank, applied the break, but without oiieefc, lor tho horses became unmanageable and continuj'l to approach the edge, and he had only time to throw himself off before the conveyance topped over and with the horses rolled to the bottom. The driver at once shouted for assistance, anl was speedily joined by a f.irtner of the neighbored jJ, who would appear to have been passing. O:i getting down the bank ft sad sight prosauted itself; two women were lying de.i I or dying i;i the lorn, the top was off the waggon, and tho vehicle itself seemel to have AJtiuilJy p.issed over tiie bo lies of the women, as ie lay beyond them. One of the women, Mrs. Mackenzie, tie wife of ;i police constable, and who had bc'ii sitting on the box, was still breathing, :ui I iiskf<i for a glass of wator, but expired •Aliivjbt immediately. The other, Mrs. Walsli, who was on her umv to join her husband at the Wojlsned, was perfectly dead when found. A boy, whose liiinu; h.i.s not reached us, was the only oilier pas^ngev. Ho was quite unhurt. The horses ulso escaped unjurcd. Tiie niw-i of rhu accident wis brought to town by Mr. Mus->rove, K.M., of Tokomairiro, who happened to be cominsf by, and Dr. Hockin, and Dr. Wilson, and two irojpors ut once proceeded to tho sp.)fc. Tiiey fiJinul both the women perfectly dc^id, lying where they had fallen as if asleep, wit'i no murks of wounds or blood. The bodijs were removed to the Burgiddie Hotel, to jiw.ut the inquest which will probably be held to-d;iy. The driver was tak.ni in custody by the pjlice; one report says Unit he was drunk at the time thij accident oecunvd, but upon that point vre are not iujpossessiou of cerraiu information.
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THE OTAGO WITNESS., Otago Witness, Issue 557, 2 August 1862
THE OTAGO WITNESS. Otago Witness, Issue 557, 2 August 1862
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