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only the result of postponing an evil, leaving it competent then, as now, for those who live at low levels to cut short the supply of those who live on higher lands. An expenditure of less than one hundred and eighty dollars per house would give each its water-meter, replace all manual faucets with self-closing ones, and properly protect all exposed pipes; the consumption of water, while still liberal, would be reduced to less than half the present amount; the present aqueduct would suffice for a population of two million five hundred thousand people, and when the city shall have grown to five million, its adequate water-supply will be easily secured. The present extravagant system must surely cease, sooner or later. It may be more easily stopped now than hereafter.
It has been a favorite theory with some of those who have given attention to sanitary problems in New York that it would be most unwise to restrict the use of water, its abundant and constant flow securing the thorough flushing of waste-pipes, housedrains, and sewers. This would be important if it were true; but it is not true. Ten gallons of water sent suddenly through a wastepipe, filling it half-full and making a rapid flush, would have a cleansing effect; but a hundred gallons trickling through in a thread of a stream cuts its little channel through deposits, and winds its course around obstructions, and does no good whatever. Indeed, in the case of many vitrified drains under cellar floors, the little constant stream is pretty nearly all distributed through leaking joints into the ground; while, if delivered in greater volume and in shorter time, nearly all of it would make its way directly to the street sewer, carrying with it matters which are now deposited along the course.
Even if all the improvements above recommended were carried out in their entirety, subduing entirely the foulness of the air of the present sewers, and cutting them off entirely from all communication with the surface, save through the roof-water and yardwater inlets; draining the subsoil of the city thoroughly; giving the streets an impervious covering through which no foul water could pass into the ground; removing the stormwater which falls in the streets completely and inoffensively, and conducting the liquid wastes of houses through impervious pipes and by a constant and rapid movement to a distant point of discharge, there would still be left what is perhaps the most serious element of the whole question.
So far as the health of the individual is concerned, it is probably better that he should live in a perfect house with unhealthy surroundings than in an unhealthy house with perfect surroundings. The nearest source of danger is probably the most effective, and unsanitary conditions within the house are therefore more to be feared than those remoter causes whose action is less direct. Under the present arrangement, however, the foul air of the sewers is, in very many cases, to be regarded rather as an interior than as an exterior influence-houses being frequently in almost unchecked communication with the sewers, and the air of these, as at present arranged, being unquestionably of a most poisonous character.
The more direct and immediate source of injury lies not where it is to be met only by the concurrent action of the community, but where it is under the direct control of the householder, or at least of the house-owner, who may be made amenable to the influence of his tenant. In a great majority of cases, no sufficient amendment of the condition of the house can be secured short of a thorough renovation of its drainage-works, and a very material reformation of its cellar; of its source of heated air; and of the arrangement of its ventilation. In many other cases, where the workmanship is good, and where only an ill-advised arrangement of the works is at fault, the remedy is much easier and less expensive.
As the most important feature of the case, attention will first be given to the drainage of the house-that is, to the manner in which its cellar dampness is to be removed, and its waste discharges regulated. Probably, in nearly every part of the city, the excessive moisture by which foundation walls and cellar bottoms are made damp may be sufficiently controlled without modification of the public sewerage. Sewers being ordinarily sufficiently deep in the ground to afford the necessary outlet, proper arrangements being made for the exclusion of surface water, especially when the back yard is covered with snow and ice, at a time of sudden thaw and heavy rain, the only requisite is to secure a complete drainage of the cellar, which may be effected by digging a trench to the depth of at least a foot below the cellar-bottom, all around and close to the foundation, filling the same with coarse gravel, or finely broken stone, or cinders, properly connected with, and properly disconnected from, the sewer. The communication of this drain with the sewer must
be provided with some effective protection against the admission of sewer air. Simply trapping with water is insufficient for this purpose, for the reason that during long dry seasons the trap is liable to become empty by evaporation or by leaking. As the amount of water to be discharged is not very great, and an open water-way is therefore not needed, a trap such as is shown in the sketch on page 184 will suffice for the outlet, and will be a certain barrier against the return of sewer air, at least to any material extent. The drainage of the cellar being thus effected, its whole bottom should be covered with concrete of a very different character from that ordinarily employed. This may answer for the foundation stratum of the work, but the surface should be finished with pure Portland cement or other more impervious material, such as asphalt. There will be an advantage also in continuing this impervious coating up the face of the foundation walls, at least to a point higher than the level of the ground. The cellar being thus protected, sufficiently ventilated, and so arranged that careless servants may not easily defile it with garbage and rubbish, its condition will be satisfactory for all purposes save one: that is, the supply of air to the heating apparatus of the house. This should, under all circumstances, be taken from outside, preferably not from the street, whose exhalations must be more or less objectionable under the best circumstances, but from the rear, and at a height of from ten to fifteen feet from the surface of the ground.
The subject of house ventilation, although of great importance, will not be considered here; neither will the arrangement of supplypipes, by which hot and cold water are distributed to different parts of the house, further than may be necessary in connection with the furnishing of flushing water for closets and the arrangement of the main tank in which the general supply is stored.
It is indispensable, under the present system of living, that by far the largest and worst portion of its waste matters should be removed by a self-acting system of dischargepipes leading to the public sewer. This is a necessary part of the provision for the most comfortable and convenient and healthful living, and a most essential feature of modern civilization. Its convenience and its comparative cleanliness are easily secured, and, so far as these aims are concerned, it is simply a question of good mechanical construction. The average man does not look
beyond these objects, and he fails to realize the necessity for further supervision of the matter than may be given by the average architect or the average plumber. Were there not other aims of paramount importance, there would be no reason for the writing of this article. But those who have, during the past twenty years, given their attention to the influence of these works on the health of the people realize, as the general public does not, the necessity for controlling them with the utmost care and wisdom, and for bringing them into absolute conformity with a few simple requirements. which are universally accepted by all who have given thought to the subject. These requirements are:
1. That the least possible amount of foul matter be retained at any time or at any point within the whole drainage system.
2. That every part of that system be as completely as possible separated from the atmosphere of the house, by suitable permanent traps, and by an absolute tightness of every part of the conduit.
3. That, so far as practicable, every part of the system be freely open to the entrance and movement of fresh air.
4. That an absolute separation be secured between the water supply of the house and every part of the drainage system.
5. That the connection between the different parts of the works do not involve a communication of air between different rooms or different floors, or with the spaces between floors and ceilings and in partitions.
These requirements apply not only to the main soil-pipe and its various branches, but equally to every vessel connected therewith. They are susceptible of great variety of treatment, and, being assured, it is a matter of no consequence, so far as the question of health is concerned, what the arrangement of the work may be. They may be assured in the simplest and in the most complicated plumbing; in the house which has only a single kitchen sink and a single water-closet, as well as in a house supplied in every part with closets, baths, wash-basins, and all the various appliances by which the plumber tempts the luxury of the people and adds to the convenience of household work. In proportion, however, as the work becomes multiplied and complicated, the need for great care increases, and simplicity and a restriction of the number of vessels are to be advised. It is possible to make a stationary wash-basin in a bedroom entirely safe; but such basins
rarely are entirely safe, and, however good in original construction, they are always liable, under careless management, to become unsafe. On the whole, their entire abolition is to be recommended, especially as it is practically impossible to keep them in all respects in such cleanly condition as the old-fashioned wash-bowl and pitcher, toward which fashion is happily returning.
The requirements here indicated are absolute, whether the house is to remain connected with the present public sewer or to communicate with the smaller sewer for house drainage only, as above suggested.
blows with considerable force, are very
top of the house, without contraction at any point, and should open, full bore, at such a height above the roof as will bring them into a free current of air, without reaching to within two feet of the top of any chimney near them. Their ventilation may be facilitated by the use of the old-fashioned Emerson ventilator; but, so far as present knowledge on the subject goes, with no other. The half-round cap so much used by plumbers, and the bend by which the pipe is often turned to open downward, are both objectionable, as obstructing the channel at all times and as closing it by the The first reform to be made should be an accumulation of frost in cold weather. The abandonment of the drain lying under the "Globe" ventilator, while affording a very cellar floor, and of the use of earthenware effective suction when the wind blows, is an pipes within or near the walls of the house. obstruction to natural ventilation during The main soil-pipe, which is the basis of calms. The various whirligigs are also an the work, should never be, for any house of obstruction during calms, and revolving whatever size, not even for the largest apart-hoods, although effective when the wind ment-house, more than four inches in diameter, for the reason that the capacity of a pipe of that size to discharge any amount of sewerage that can be produced in a single house, and to remove whatever can gain access to it through the outlets of waterclosets, sinks, etc., is more than ample; and that the more closely the size of the pipe is adjusted to the work it has to perform, the more thoroughly it will be cleansed by its ordinary flow, and washed clean, at the times of greatest flow, of foul matters attached to its walls. In like manner every waste-pipe and trap in the house should be restricted as much as possible, the trap being never larger than the pipe, and preferably smaller. For example, the outlet of a kitchen sink should be of one and a quarter inch pipe, having a one-inch trap. With a reasonable and sufficient use, this will keep clean and will remove everything promptly, while a two-inch pipe with a three-inch trap will become choked with grease and filth, and will be a constant seat of foul decomposition. So, also, a three-inch outlet and trap are better for a water-closet than any larger size, and even a set of laundry tubs will have their whole contents carried away by a one and a quarter inch pipe more rapidly than the flow can pass through the strainer of the waste. The soil-pipe should begin at the sewer, enter the house above the cellar bottom, continue with the best slope that can be given it, six inches in one hundred feet being sufficient in case of need, to the point or points where its vertical extensions begin. These extensions should be carried as directly as possible quite up through the
If the soil-pipe is to be connected with the present foul sewer, then there must be placed between the house and the sewer a deep running trap, and inside of that provision must be given for the admission of fresh air to supply the needed ventilation. If the soil-pipe is to be connected with the small sewer above suggested, the same being thoroughly flushed and having ample provision for the admission of fresh air, then the trap should be omitted, and an unobstructed four-inch opening from the sewer to the top of the house will secure the necessary circulation of fresh air, while the supplying of such a ventilator at every house will provide a more than abundant ventilation for the sewer.
The admission of fresh air to the inside of the trap, or the open connection with a clean sewer, is a recent but most necessary device. A bottle cannot be adequately ventilated by removing its cork, and a coal-mine cannot be ventilated by simply. leaving the mouth of its shaft open. Neither can the deep recesses and ramifications of a soil-pipe be ventilated by simply opening
its mouth above the roof.
This will serve | as a vent, and will prevent a pressure of the contained air being brought against the lateral traps. It will also serve for the admission of air during a descending flow, and so lessen the effect of this flow on these traps. But it will not afford that constant and entire change of the atmosphere of the pipes which is needed to prevent a foul and dangerous decomposition within them. So far as we now know, this last effect can be secured only by the opening of the pipe at both ends, so that there shall be a constant movement in one direction or the other, under the varying influences of changes of temperature, flow of water, and action of wind. Practically, it is found sufficient to connect the lower end of the soil-pipe, inside of the trap, with the outer air by carrying a two-inch air-pipe from the top of the horizontal run of the soil-pipe into the light shaft at the front part of the cellar. A large experience in the use of this device has failed to show any annoyance from odor escaping at this point; indeed, there is almost universally a strong inward current, and soil-pipes so ventilated are infinitely less offensive at their upper ends than those not so provided with fresh air, the character of the decomposition taking place within them being entirely changed, and complete oxidation taking the place of foul putrefaction.
Lateral branches of the soil-pipe, such as the wastes from baths, etc., will be sufficiently ventilated for a short distance by the mere opening of their mouths into the same; but if they are more than a few feet in length, and especially if they discharge foul matters, suitable provision should be made for obtaining a separate circulation of air through them, the supply being taken from the soil-pipe, and the exit being by a separate outlet above the roof or into a higher part of the soil-pipe. The separation between a water-closet and the soil-pipe cannot be efficiently secured by any mechanical device yet invented. There is as yet in this case no substitute for a good deep water-seal; but this is the only opening which cannot be protected by a strainer, and which, therefore, must admit bulky materials. All other outlets may be protected by a suitable selfclosing mechanical valve, working on the principle of the check-valve-opening freely toward the outlet and closing absolutely against a reverse current. None of the mechanical traps yet devised are absolutely perfect; but what is known as "Bower's" trap meets the necessary conditions more
completely than any other, and its use is, in all cases, to be recommended, save in connection with the overflow of a tank, or the trap of a safe, or of a refrigerator not constantly used. Here the check-valve is especially to be preferred.
The use of a mechanical trap is not, under all circumstances, a matter of strictly vital importance. Where vessels are used constantly, winter and summer, the common water-seal trap, protected against opening by suction-technically, "siphoning"-by a suitable ventilation of the waste-pipe, or by a suitable connection at its point of discharge, is substantially safe. On the other hand, a water-seal trap not constantly used is subject to opening by evaporation, and to an objectionable permeation by the atmosphere of the waste-pipe to which it delivers.
In the placing of soil-pipes and lateral waste-pipes, the plumber is a veritable housebutcher. So long as he can make a hole through which to pass his pipes, he pays no regard to the channel incidentally provided for the free transmission of odors from one part of the house to another, and for the unobstructed passage of vermin: He knows that every water-closet is to be tightly boxed in with painted or varnished wood-work, and that no inspection is possible of the caverns by which his soil-pipe passes through the floor. A proper regulation of such work would secure the absolute closing of the floor about the soil-pipe or its branches, and would admit of a constant inspection and cleansing of the space which is now confined by ornamental carpentry. While the ventilation of the interior of the soil and waste pipes is of paramount importance, it is also most desirable to afford a complete ventilation at the house-side of every trap. Water-closets, therefore, should never be closed by covers; the water by which they are separated from the soil-pipe should be freely exposed to the atmosphere of the room, securing the immediate and complete dilution and dispersal of whatever exhalations may take place.
As stated in the previous article, no watercloset above the basement floor should be supplied directly from the main water-pipes, but always from a separate cistern, the contents of which are used for no other purpose. So, also, the overflow of the main tank should either be led to the outside of the house through the wall, or to the eavesgutter, or it should be separated from the soil-pipe by a self-acting check-valve. The prevailing practice of discharging the over
flow of the tank into the soil-pipe through a water-seal trap, which may not be supplied for months together, is in every way pernicious. In the previous article, the different forms of water-closet now most largely used were condemned, and reasons for their condemnation were given. So far as invention and experiment have thus far gone, it seems wise to recommend the use of closets of only two classes, or modifications of these which retain their essential features. The first and cheapest form is the plain hopper-closet, illustrated herewith, supplied with a flush sufficiently abundant entirely to change the contents of its trap at every use. One of the best forms of this closet is that known as "Hellyer's Artisan," which has a perpendicular rear wall, and the flushing discharge of which pours with considerable force
into the trap. It may be effectively flushed by a cistern of simple construction, placed at a moderate elevation. The other, the invention of William Smith, of San Francisco, is most cleanly and effective. The accompanying illustration shows a modification of the form and arrangement of this closet which seems to meet every requirement. It has no moving parts; its basin stands full, so that dejections are received immediately into water and their odor retained; and its discharge is effected with such force that nothing which ought to gain admission to a water-closet can fail to be carried completely away, in a flood of such abundance as thoroughly to flush the soil-pipe and drain. The supply is taken from a tank standing at a considerable elevation; or, by a more recent device, from a lower elevation through a pipe standing full of water for its whole length. In either case, the main supply is delivered in the form of a forcible jet at the bottom of the trap, flowing with sufficient force to carry with it the contents of the bowl. A branch from the main supply flushes the bowl, and, as the flow ceases, fills it again to the required height.
Either of these closets, made of white earthenware and standing as a white vase in a floor of white tiles, the back and side walls being similarly tiled, there being no mechanism of any kind under the seat, is not only most cleanly and attractive in appearance, but entirely open to inspection and to ventilation. The seat for this closet is simply a well-finished hard-wood board, resting on cleats a little higher than the top of the vase, and hinged so that it may be conveniently turned up, exposing the closet for thorough cleansing, or for use urinal or slop-hopper. Such closets ought entirely to do away with the use of urinals in private houses, and if, for convenience or to prevent the possibility of baths being improperly used, separate slop-sinks are desired, these should be constructed like the hopper-closet, the outlet being protected with a movable basket of wire cloth made for the purpose.
There are various improved devices in the form of grease-traps for kitchen sinks, cleanly substitutes for the present filthy outlets of wash-basins, etc., which are not of sufficient sanitary importance to claim description here, but which, for all that, are well worthy of attention. If the five requirements enumerated above are secured in substantial conformity to the directions given, the householder may feel confidently assured that, whatever ills his family is subjected to, bad drainage cannot be one of them. With anything less than this he will, if he be wise, regard his conditions of life as suspicious, and will remove the defects of his own house before clamoring too strongly about defects that lie without his walls.
The foregoing recommendations constitute, it is believed, could they be carried out in their integrity, a complete remedy for all the remediable sanitary evils of the city of New York, so far as they relate to its soil, its streets, its houses, or its water supply. They involve nothing that is impracticable, of improbable value, of uncertain effect, or of undue cost. Their execution implies a modification of some engineering and architectural practices which are the outgrowth of traditions that antedate the beginning of sanitary knowledge; and the regulation of public and private work according to principles which have not yet found a prominent place in professional text-books. They are, however, in strict conformity with the simplest indications of sanitary necessity, and they cannot be disregarded with safety to the community or to the family.