Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/644

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is disposed of and what relations cess-pool drains are having with the wells. Land-owners and hotel-keepers, following the drift of fashion, furnish what their patrons desire, neither side caring apparently how close a connection is established between animal excreta and the food which is eaten, the water which is drunk, and the air which is breathed.

Nor is this carelessness confined to places merely fashionable. In Ocean Grove, a religious resort, no attempt has yet been made to remove fecal accumulations by means of sewerage, or to substitute cleanly earth-closets for the disgusting cess-pool and privy. Hence the wells are polluted by human excreta, and the air smells vilely, particularly during the period of the great open-air camp-meetings.

At these gatherings over twenty thousand people assemble, who congregate together in a comparatively small space. The greater part of this multitude dwell in long lines of camp-tents, closely huddled together, and pay but little regard to hygienic methods. The executive committee of the association owning the place is equally neglectful, as they have made totally inadequate provision for carrying away the excreted material of so many people.

For the purpose of insuring better sanitary conditions than those prevailing elsewhere on the Jersey coast, Asbury Park was sewered, during the winter and spring of 1882, with eleven miles of clay pipes. Unfortunately for the traveling public, this sewerage system was a failure. Constructed in the slap-dash manner that prevails over the country generally, its working illustrated the fact that an imperfect sewer for sewage is worse than no sewer at all.

Why this system should not work well is easily understood by looking at the flat dead level of the Atlantic coast at this point, and learning that, to assist the discharge of sewage-matter into the ocean, the sewers have scarcely a fall of one inch in many hundred feet. Their outlets are built but little above low-water mark; consequently, when they get clogged by the tide, which they do except at low water, their gaseous contents are turned back over the land, to deal out disease and death in as many ways as Panurge had of making money.

Again, the principal outlet of the sewers empties immediately in front of and at the foot of the main street; effluvia from this, during the months of July and August, were emitted in morbific quantities; and, although natural causes prevented any outbreak of virulent types of disease, physicians were kept busy attending cases of fever, cramps, and dysentery. While it is admitted that this sewage-stench per se might not have been the cause of these disorders, yet there is strong probability of it, when it is considered that the sewage of Glasgow, although conveyed in barges over twenty-five miles, to a deep and wide loch out in the country, engendered new types of disease, and converted one of the healthiest sea-side resorts into a pestilential fever-center.

Some attempt at remedying this condition in Asbury was made by