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Shut Off Filthy Water

Shut Off Filthy Water image
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Our citizens have doubtless under. stood that at a meeting of the council iast rMonday evening, an important communication was received from the board of health relative to the purity of the water supplied by the Ann Arbor water company. This communication gave the following description of the finding of a stream, from which the fllth was not kept from running into thewater pipes on the Allen farm, across the river from the pumping station. The communication was as follows: In the latter part of April complaints were made to both township and city boards of health of contamination of the water, on the Allen farm, by the burial of dead animáis near one or the surines and bV tlie direct drainage from the barn and stable yards of two of the streams from which water was taken. There was no charge that the water company was responsible for the burial of the horse, which was promptly removed, and the water from the two streams simt off. But a furtber inspection revealed a shocking condition of filth the principie remaining stream from which water was taken, caused by cattle making a drinking place at the very point where the stream emptied into the pipe. A communication (a copy of which marked "A" is appended) was sent April 30 to ihe superintendent ot the water company calling attention to this fllthy stream and askingthat it be mediately shutoft, and that no more water be permitted to flow f rom ít into , the pipes uutil the bed and banks of the stream were cleansed and assurance given that it would be kept clean and the water pure. The water was promptly turned off. But in a few weeks water was found again running into the pipes from this stream and the two streams draining the stable yards. ( ïhis the superintendent states was , without his instruction or knowledge and that the water was turned in by ( employees to rinse the receiving basin He save verbal promise at a meeting of the board, to which he was invited, that there woiïld be no more trouble about it. But about July lst, water was again found running from thi stream, which had not been cleansed, 1D At a meeting of the board July 2nd, the secretary was instructed by ; lution (copy appended marked "B") to notify the superintendent of the water company of what had been found, and that unless irnrnediate and efficiënt measures were taken to prevent the inflow of filthy water, that the board would give public notice that in the opinión of lts menibeis that the water was unlit and unsafe tor domestic use. The water was again temporarily turned off and a week or two later the secretary of the board was verbally notified that everythins was all right and invited to inspect the arrangements. Supposinf that at least somettiing adequate had been done, that the board eould commend as a safeguard to the quality of water furnished citizeus; a meeting of the board was delayed to give opportunity to each member and the township health ufficers to examine the situation. , We were üisappointed to find a farcical attempt at fencing the stream for three or four rods above its inflo w into the pipe by fastening a few strips of wire to trees and loose sticks stuck in the ground at long distances; the bed of the stream fllled with stones for two or three rods further. Butthe rernaiuing fifty or sixty rods above to the head of the stream, is m nowise protected from the cattle that make this shaded part of the pasture field their chief driuking place; the banks and bed of the stream still filthy and water running into the pipe. It was also found that water irom the junction of the barn yard drains, ran into the pipe with every rain, carrying surface drainage. At a meeting August 3rd of the board at which the health officer of the township was present, a resolution was unaniinously adopted (see copy marked "O") and sent to the superintendent on the rourth, stating that the measures were wholly insufficient to protect tbe water from filth- and seems like trifling with the health and lives of citizens and the welfare of the city. And stating that unless assurance in writing was received, that the water from this stream should be kept turned off until efficiënt measures were taken to protect it from lilth, the board would enforce the resolution of July 2nd. We have received no aeknowledgement of this communicati n and are reluctautly left to believe that the water eornpany is either unwilling or unable to comply with the reasonable recornmendations of this board to secure to citizens what they pay for and have a right to expect, i. e., water if not absolutely pure, at least free from filth. And we respectfully turn the matter ovar to vour honorably body, knowing that you have the authority and the power to enforce the contract with the water company to furnish "wholsome water." Believing that you cannot to highly estímate the importance of securing good water for the several thousand persons who are dependent on that source of supply. Respecfully submitted. W. F. BREAKEY, Health Offlcer A. A. City. C. G. JJARLIXG. Health Officer f or A . A. Township. The communication is accompanied bv copies of letters sent Mr. Hamilton, by ■ bealth ofHcers relating to the matter ■ T'ie iirst letter tajks of seeing ahalfbushel of co? dung, within 20 feet where the stream ernpties into the üipe; of the discovery of a dead horse buried near the springs and of the f act that three barn yards were drained into another stream. ïhis letter was written April 30th. The second letter threatened to give notice to the council and the people unless the stream was cleansed. That the water was unflt tor use. The company fenced up the stream a short distance but above this the cattle süll have access to the stream. A copy of the letter ot August 3rd is also submitted to which Superintendent Hamilton paid no attention. The matter is now in the hands of the council, to enforce the contract to obtain pure water and a committee will report upou what measmeasures may be taken next Mondav evening. Except after heavy rains it is not thought that water frotn the barn yards runs into the pipes. But the pipe for this stream is so placed that the water runs in, whenever it is high, and even when water is low, a man can erect a surflcient dam in flve minutes to cause the water to run in the pipe.


Ann Arbor Argus
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