Analysis of water by opponents

This is the first page, anyway.


8 Manderville Place,
Manchester Square,
5th July, 1879

A. C. Bamlett Esq.
Dear Sir,


I agree with you in thinking, that Parliament, in its wisdom or unwisdom, having determined not to hear the alternative scheme, the true dispute in the case of Thirsk water has never been tried at all. The object we should have in supplying a town with water is not simply to get a wholesome water, but to get absolutely the best water available.

Whatever may be said about the wholesomeness of the water now sanctioned by Parliament, of this I am positive (and I speak from personal knowledge) that it is not the best (nay very far indeed from the best) available supply. Of course Parliament did not try this point at all, and so because certain formal orders were not complied with, your town is to be burdened (as I regard it) with water which will always be unpopular, and the unpopularity of which will increase year by year, until at last the Company will be compelled to come to Parliament to sanction a new scheme, and so hamper the town with fresh expenses of a Parliamentary contest and of new works.

Why are the promoters so foolish as to go on with it? Look for instance at the analysis of their water and the Kepwick water which are stated in Table I. (made by Dr. FRANKLAND and myself). There is no comparing them for quality. The promoters' water was taken for analysis at a favorable time after a few fine days-and we find it of a dark sherry tint, loaded with peaty matter, very soft, and acting so freely on lead as not unlikely to produce chronic lead poisoning if conveyed to the people through lead pipes.

The Kepwick water is magnificently colorless-absolutely free from organic impurity-of moderate softness and without action on lead.

What more can I say ? I have examined that of the Kepwick springs and my analysis in detail are given in Table II. They are all comparatively soft, that is they are under 10 degrees of hardness on Clarke's scale.

There was some talk of petrifying springs, but there are no petrifying springs to be found, for as it turned out the apparent deposit was no deposit at all. I suppose however the mischief is done.-Of course I shall not have to drink the water but I feel sufficient interest in the question of water supply to wish every success still to the opposition to such a scheme as that of the promoters.

Truly yours

Professor of Chemistry and of Forensic Medicine at the London Hospital.
Medical Officer of Health for Islington.
Late Deputy Medical Officer of Health for the City of London

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