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The History of the Bathroom Part 2: Awash In Water and Waste

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:09 AM
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by last modified Jul 12, 2011

Image credit Wikipedia, John Snow In 1854 there was a major outbreak of cholera in Soho, London. Nobody knew what caused cholera, but John Snow carefully mapped the location of every victim, (documented wonderfully in Stephen Johnson's book The Ghost Map ) and figured out that the focus of the epidemic was a community pump. He removed the handle, forcing residents to get their water elsewhere, and the epidemic ended. It turned out that there was a leaky cesspit only a few feet away from the pump. The authorities were not sure why, but did conclude that shit +drinking water = death. It didn't take long for the city fathers to take the easy way out: if you cannot rely on wells anymore, pipe in fresh water from afar. Why stop pollution of your water source when it is easier just to bring it from somewhere else?... Read the full story on TreeHugger






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