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with the stubborn obstacle of perpetual the heavier solid matters brought procrastination. Having now cleared down by the sewers having deposited our ground by the discussion of the themselves in these covered reservoirs, two preliminary questions relating to an overflow-pipe may be made to the pollution of the Thames* and the convey the sewage to a receptacle value of the sewage, we shall proceed common to several such reservoirs ; to offer a few suggestions in reference over which receptacle a steam-engine to the several plans which have been may be erected, furnished with a put forward, or are likely to be pro lift or force-pump as occasion may posed, for the drainage of the metro require, so that the liquid may be polis. And here we deem it right, discharged either into the nearest as well as expedient, to state that existing sewer or water-course, or we lay no claims to the possession forced forward direct into the Thames. of engineering knowledge. If, there We will consider each of these fore, we are not in a position to plans, in relation, first, to the drainoffer an opinion calculated to have age of London, and then to the proweight with the practical men who fitable application of the manure to form the present Metropolitan Com agricultural purposes. mission of Sewers, we are at least 1. The first plan, which may be free from the predilections and per designated as an improved status quo, sonal feelings from which an engineer certainly possesses the advantage of would find it so difficult to divest economy. Making every allowance himself. Au reste we may, without for repairs of existing channels, small undue presumption, claim to know and large, for reconstruction of such as much of the subject in hand as as are hopelessly faulty, for reserwill entitle our observations to a voirs (shouldsuch be deemed essential) moderate share of attention.
at the water's edge, and for steamIn utter ignorance of the plans engines as mechanical aids, there can which may have been sent in to the be little doubt that this plan would Commission, but with some know be an economical one. ledge of the projects put forward 2. The second plan, viewed in the while the old Commission was in ex same light as a plan for drainage, istence, we would venture to point out substitutes two tunnels of great three obvious ways in which the length, and necessarily at great cost, drainage of the metropolis might be with large reservoirs and powerful effected :
steam-engines, for the less expensive 1. The existing sewers and water works required by the first-named courses, with their existing outlets, plan. It is therefore open to the may be retained, subject to repairs, great prima-facie objection, that it improvements, diversions, extension could only be carried into effect by a of outlets into the bed of the river, em large outlay of money. In spite of bankments, and the aid, where neces its great simplicity, we are not sursary, of the steam-engine to raise the prised to find it suminarily condemned water into the river at high tide, new by Sir John Burgoyne. main-sewers being built if required, 3. The third plan, which may be and new districts being drained either styled the plan of drainage by disinto them or into existing channels. tricts, viewed still in the same partial 2. Two large tunnelled sewers may light as the foregoing, appears to us be constructed parallel with the banks to present certain advantages, among of the Thames, one on each side, which economy certainly finds a extending for several miles down place. When compared with the the river, their waters collected first plan it obviously possesses the in appropriate reservoirs, and raised advantage of incurring a minimum and pumped into the Thames. 3. cost for drainage, by superseding the Each small district of the city having necessity ofbranch-sewers continually been surveyed, may be drained de increasing in size till they approach novo into a covered reservoir situate the dimensions of the main-sewers. at the lowest point of that district ; It has the additional recommendation
* We had already answered the first question in reference to the pollution of the Thames before the publication of Sir John Burgoyne's memoranda ; but we are happy to find that our opinion on this point is quite in conformity with his views.
of intercepting, at short intervals, the there accumulated to lands situate heavier solid matters, which, under on the borders of the metropolis our present system, accumulate in higher up the stream, the pipes would immense masses in every faulty part have to be laid down at immense of our existing channels, necessitating expense to the very districts from the costly alternative of hand-labour which the sewage had originally with its risks of suffocation, or flush flowed. Instead of mains of modeing with its dangers of inundation. rate dimensions radiating from the Under this plan, too, the huge elon several existing outlets to the lands gated cesspool, which by a vast la lying nearest to such outlets, we byrinth of house-drains binds every should have mains of large size detenement in a vast district into one scribing a retrograde course of sevegigantic system of foulness, dwindles ral miles in length, from the farinto comparatively small dimensions. distant reservoir in the marshes of
Whether the economy effected by Essex or the meadows of Kent. the substitution of comparatively Even if provision were made for small main - sewers for the larger drawing sewage from any point of channels required where the drainage the tunnelled sewer, as was suggested area is of greater extent, is such as to many years ago for the town of meet the excess of expense of a num Glasgow by the spirited and ingeber of small steam-engines over the nious author of the Harleian dairy cost of a few of larger dimensions, is system, and more recently for Mana question which must be left in the chester by Mr. P. H. Holland, the hands of practical men. Should this same objections would still apply as question be answered in the affirma to the system just examined, with tive, we own to a very decided pre the additional one of the expense inference of this system of drainage curred by raising the sewage from so over every other.
great a depth. We have now to consider the three 3. If the system of drainage by systems of drainage in relation to the districts presented some advantages application of the sewage as manure. over its competitors, when considered
1. Viewed in this light the first simply as a mode of ridding the mesystem, or improved status quo, puts tropolis of its foul waters, it certainly forth but slender claims to accept stands forward in very bold relief
As all the sewage is supposed when viewed in the light of which to flow to the existing outlets on the
now speaking. Though, banks of the Thames, from those if that system were carried out outlets, by steam-engines erected over to its full extent, the districts imor near them, and by iron pipes laid mediately bordering on the Thames through the streets, the sewage must might still, as at present, be most be pumped back into the country. conveniently drained into the river; If, however, we suppose any of the a considerable proportion of the outplans recommended for obtaining a lying districts might be drained outsolid manure by chemical precipita wards towards the country, so as to tion of the less valuable constituents present convenient centres either for of the sewage to be adopted, then the restoring the sewage to existing chanposition of the works on the banks nels, or for distributing it through iron of the river would certainly possess pipes over the adjacent lands. In our the advantage of cheap water-carriage. eyes, this is a great and peculiar ad
2. The second plan of a double vantage which the system of district tunnelled sewer is even less advan drainage enjoys over its rivals. It tageous in relation to the profitable offers at many different points on every application of the sewage than the side of the metropolis its temptations one we have just considered ; for as to the owners and cultivators of the it conveys the sewage to two reser soil. Nor must we forget one pecuvoirs situate at distant points low liar advantage pertaining to this sysdown the river, it virtually limits tem, namely, that it alone professes the use of the sewage to the land to separate the house-drainage from lying within a radius of a few miles the surface-drainage, so as to collect from those points. If it should be the manure free from silt on the one deemed expedient to apply a portion hand, and of a strength to pay even of the immense quantity of sewage for cartage to a moderate distance on
the other. To make the system per Such, then, is the present position fect, however, the reservoirs ought of one of the most vital questions of to be so situate that the engines may our time—the question whether the have the command both of unmixed great inherent value of sewage house-drainage as manure for winter manure can be converted into an use, and of the means of dilution to equivalent commercial value — the fit it for irrigation in the summer. question whether it will pay to dis
It will be seen, then, that of the tribute this material as a fertilizing three systems of drainage to which water. If it will not pay in this we have adverted we give a decided form, we feel confident that it can preference to the third. We think pay in no other shape. The dilute it likely to be the least expensive in state of the liquid, which peculiarly the long run; and we contend that it fits it to serve both as manure and offers the best prospect of an econo as water, offers an insuperable obmical and profitable application of stacle to the obtaining from it by the sewage to the purposes of agri- precipitation the more valuable of its culture. At any rate, we submit constituents; and there is great reathat it is one that ought to be adopted son to fear that the best deposit which in the case of all the outlying dis can be obtained from it will not be tricts of the metropolis within the able to compete with existing manures jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Com at a price to cover the cost of its mission of Sewers.
preparation. We should be but too On the subject of the application happy to find that we are mistaken of the sewage of London to agri in this view of the subject; and in cultural uses we must be allowed to order to multiply the means of provadd a few words. It is evident to ing ourselves in error we would streour mind that some years must still nuously advocate the adoption of elapse before this valuable fertilizer such a plan of drainage as shall give will meet with general acceptance at the greatest facilities for experiment the hands of the cultivators of the in the fabrication of manures, and soil, and many more years before the largest opportunities for the trial the commercial public will be in of their virtues. Now it must be duced to invest capital in schemes for obvious to the meanest capacity that its distribution. Though the efforts the plan which combines these two of the enterprising company which is desiderata is one which multiplies at work in Fulham fields, conferring places of collection or deposit in or on the market-gardeners of that dis near agricultural districts, and at the trict the great advantage of a supply same time separates house-drainage of dilute sewage, with unrivalled from upland and surface waters. If, facilities for its application to the contrary to our expectation, a profitsoil, have been crowned with a fair able solid manure be obtainable from measure of success among the smaller sewer-water, it must be by acting on holders of land, the more opulent the strong sewage as it flows from cultivators still hold aloof, and still our houses; and if this is to have a cling with dogged obstinacy to the ready sale it must be in or near the old methods of culture. On the centres of its production. course which they may see fit to These preliminary considerations adopt the question of the commercial will enable us to set forth in few value of the sewage of the metro words the particulars of the system polis mainly depends. The failure of drainage which we are disposed to of the present attempt, which must advocate. Its essential parts are the speedily follow on the prolonged re following :--1. The division of the fusal of the larger cultivators to co entire area of the metropolis into operate with the company, would districts of such moderate extent that effectually deter other parties, whe the size of the largest drains shall ther in London or in the provinces, not exceed that of the largest earthenfrom embarking their capital in simi ware tubes manufactured for that lar projects. On the other hand, purpose.
2. The convergence of the success of this first venture would these drains in a covered cesspool or be the signal for the commencement cesspools, so arranged as to admit of of hundreds of similar schemes in the prompt removal of all solid deevery part of the country.
posits. 3. The further convergence
of several of these small districts by sewage
would serve to means of overflow-drains in a covered create a demand for it, which might centre, over which a steam-engine justify the Comunissioners in levying shall be erected, by means of which a royalty upon all parties making the sewage may either be raised or use of it. It is not at all improbable, propelled into some existing sewer or moreover, that through these faciliwater-course, or be placed in either ties thus freely offered the great proof these ways at the disposal of the blem of the profitable and inoffensive agriculturist. 4. The complete se application of the contents of our paration of house-drainage from the sewers would work itself out in a surface and upland waters, with a manner to obviate every conceivable view not merely of securing a strong objection to its use. Having obtained sewage for distribution or precipi command of house-drainage free from tation, but also of excluding the silt the admixture of silt, and containing of the streets, which forms in the little besides animal and vegetable existing sewers the material of the matter, a solid manure might be most troublesome deposits. 5. The thrown down by milk of lime or efficient repair of existing main other chemical means, which if sold sewers and water-courses, and such a in the moist state in the immediate command of water as shall ensure a neighbourhood would pay the cost uniform and steady flow of sewage of production, while the supernatant through them at all times of the day. liquid, free from odour and colour, 6. Such an alteration of the outfalls
but still containing a valuable maof existing sewers as shall prevent nure, might be either pumped out the sewage from flowing over the into the rural districts or returned banks of the river, and cause it to into the Thames. be discharged at once into a sufficient Once more we repeat that we fully body of water to destroy all offensive agree with Sir J. Burgoyne in thinkodour.
ing that the first duty of the ComWith regard to the appropriation missioners of Sewers is to drain the of the sewage to agricultural uses we metropolis efficiently and cheaply, have these additional suggestions to and that the application of the refuse make :-1. That the cesspools which to the purposes of agriculture ought connect the overflow - pipes of the to be a secondary consideration. At several smaller districts should be the same time the Commissioners placed near an available supply of ought not to suffer themselves to be water, so that if there should arise a misled by the simplicity and grandeur demand for the sewage it may be of any scheme proposed for their diluted to the necessary extent during acceptance, so as to overlook the obthe summer months. 2. That, in vious advantages of the separation of the first instance, the steam-engines house-drainage from the upland and should be furnished with lift-pumps, surface waters, the multiplication of so that the sewage might either be the points at which the sewage may discharged into existing sewers or be offered as manure to the agriculwater - courses,
placed without turist, and the prospect (we trust not charge at the disposal of any one a very remote one) of applying the who might desire to make use of it, valuable refuse of London to its prowith the single proviso that it shall per use, with the greatest advantage be drawn at hours and into recep to agriculture and some contingent tacles approved by the Commissioners profit to the Commission itself. of Sewers. 3. That should a num Before we conclude, one word with ber of proprietors of land or a com the Government. We are not of mercial company desire to lay down the number of those who would con. pipes for the distribution of the liquid, stitute the authorities in Downing they should be permitted to substi Street the Hercules to list every tute a force-pump for a lift-pump, waggon out of the rut; but we would and enjoy the use of the sewage make the Government, as the centre free from charge for a short term of of enlightenment as well as of auyears.
thority, the means of advancing great If such facilities as these were public objects by which its own pegiven, we are of opinion that a very cuniary interests can be promoted. few years' experience of the value of We look upon the Woods and Forests
especially as a department of Govern ment of the public health on the ment bound to foster to the utmost other; and the introduction, as a every undertaking which can be new aid to culture, and a guarantee proved to combine the improvement against drought, of a system of waterof the Crown lands with the further supply for the land. The Woods ance of other objects of a strictly and Forests have it in their power to public nature. Now it will be seen, promote both these objects, by prothat at the present moment there are curing a supply of dilute sewage for two grand desiderata to be accom the Parks. It is not for us to dictate plished in the service of the public; to the enlightened head of that deto wit, the economical application of partment the mode by which such a the refuse of the metropolis, so as to supply may be obtained; but if the subserve the interests of agriculture will exist, the means will soon be on the one hand, and the improve found.
STORM AND CALM.
VIGHT came upon the mountains, not in bright
Though ebon mantle, star-bedight;
In silent gloom,
As of the tomb,
The music of the mighty wind-harp's strings
His sulphurous darts red lightning flings-
is drugg'd with the rich steam from flowers
Bathed in soft dew—the evening hours
Which nor reveal
Nor yet conceal,
Nature is sleeping sweetly-all around
Of human life a distant sound,
O heavenly night!
A. M. H.
VOL. XLI. NO, CCXLII.