Printed bill opposing the Boltby Scheme.
RURAL SANITARY AUTHORITY
OF THE THIRSK UNION
GENTLEMEN,It has been suggested that it would be best that the Town's Committee opposed to the Thirsk, District Water Company sould place before the Guardians their objections to the Scheme brought forward by the Company.
When a supply of water is required by a Town according to the law the local Authority,(which in our case is the Sanitary Authority) is the body who have to provide that supply, and naturally it is their manifest duty to see that the water is of the best quality that can be procured, and at the lowest possible price.
Water is an article of such common consumption and largely used both by the poorer classes as well as the richer, and the health and freedom from disease in these communities are so much dependent on the supply, of the best water, that it is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this subject, and at the outset we desire to bring specially before you this one thing; that no personal matter or matters ought to stand in the way of the Sanitary authority doing the duty, not only to the generation now living in Thirsk and Sowerby, but to the future generations.
Personal matters have been doubtless strongly brought before you by the promoters of the Company & otherss, but we ven- ture to say that this will soon be forgotten comparitively speaking while if you should in response to their personal appeals sanction their schems rather than the Town's opposition scheme which relies solely on the quality of its water, and on its moderate cost, the consequences may be disastrous to the Town. For if the present Company get powers to supply us with water no other Company or Local authority can bring water into the Town, and the tendency of legislation in sanitary matters, points to compulsory powers to close both public and private pumps, and the water supplied by water Companies to be forced on the Town or district at the Companies prices, the Companies are allowed to charge their max mum prices until it yields a dividend not exceeding Ten per cent, and a reserve fund is created. This is not the case yet at Thirsk, but the Company's evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons tried to prove that the water supply for Thirsk was very bad & that there were only a few wells of good water in the Town.
In speaking of this Company we beg to inform you that it is a private Company. There are only two Directors living at Thirsk, the shares are with very few exceptions taken up by people living in other towns.
In forming this Company the Inhabitants were not consulted by public Town's-meeting as to their wishes in the matter The first occasion it was brought before the the public was at a vestry meeting when Mr. SWARBRECK asked for leave to bring water into the Town; he was then asked the price he intended to charge the water and also the analysis of the, water; the price he gave us has been greatly exceeded in the bill the Company seeks to obtain from Parliament; the analysis he was then unable to give.
Among the Committee's objections to the Company's scheme are frst, the quality of the water, which is surface water from Boltby moor discolored with peat, & in some periods of the year it is much discolored, & its disagreeable flavor makes it unpalatable and probably unwholesome for drinking especially after having been stored in a reservoir for 140 days. It contains 0.84 parts of organic impurity, 3½ degrees of permanent hardness, and as to quantity the evidence given before the Parliamentary Committee supporting this was purely speculative.
The Kepwick water issues from deep seated springs; is clear, bright &, sparkling in colour, contains only 0.11 parts of organic matter against the Company's 0.84 parts; 2¼ degrees of permanent and 5½ degrees of total hardness, and has been most favourably reported on by Dr. EDWARD FRANKLAND, Professor to the Royal College of Chemistry, South Kensington. & a member of the Rivers' Pollution Commission, also by Dr. TIDY of London, Public Analyst, and by PROFESSOR WANKLYN of London. The Codbeck contains 13 degrees of hardness, and our Thirsk pumps 25 to 50 degrees of hardness.
The advantages of the Kepwick waters are first, its freedom from organic impurity; second that its moderate hardness makes it pleasent to drink and most suitable for all domestic purposes; including washing, and being spring water it does not require filtration, the springs being so strong and numerous, no storage reservoir is required, consequently reducing the cost of this scheme, for which we believe the whole capital would be taken up in Thirsk.
The question submitted for your decision on Saturday will not be altogether as to which scheme you prefer, but whether you will help to bring on a full enquiry before a Committee of the House of Lords. This enquiry will be sustained by competent, scientific witnesses, and shew fully which of the two water schemes is the best; thus the responsibility of deciding this will be removed from your own shoulders, & placed on those of a Committee of the House of Lords.
You will probably be told by the Promoters of the Company that having once given your consent to their scheme it would be undignified on your part reversing it. We must remind you that when your consent was asked only one water scheme was before you and you knew nothing of the opposition of the Town of Thirsk to it, but now there are two water schemes viz. the Company's Boltby scheme for supplying surface water, and the Town's opposition Kepwick scheme for supplying themselves with pure soft spring water
The inhabitants of Thirsk & Sowerby, who are proposed to be large consumers of the Boltby water for domestic purposes have unhesitatingly by large majorities, shewn their decided opposition to it, and a preference to the Kepwick scheme if they required a water supply, and it, surely ought to be left to them who are to be the consumers to decide from which source they will be supplied, and not to be forced to take and accept what any private company might choose to thrust upon them against their wishes
Thirsk, June 19th, 1879.
DAVID PEAT, PRINTER BY STEAM POWER, THIRSK.
Thirsk water scheme dispute main page