The Start of the Modern Sewer System that Eliminated Cholera in the UK

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The water that we use to drink, wash in and clean our homes is something that most people take for granted – we are fortunate enough to have a supply of clean water from our taps in the home that enables us to live safe in the knowledge that we are not likely to contract a waterborne illness.

However, this has not always been the case and it still isn’t for many people in the world. In the UK, an event known as the big stink is what prompted new ways to be developed to improve the water quality and to reduce the number of people becoming ill and dying from illnesses caused by dirty water.

This happened at a time when London was starting to grow in population and during one particularly stifling summer, when the streets and the river ran with sewage, the rates of illness became so bad that people started to leave the city in fear, and the smell penetrated the houses of parliament, where it was decided something had to be done about it.

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The person who was behind the design of the sewers was the Victorian engineer, Joseph Bazalgette.  This was a huge task, and in August 1858 a bill was passed in parliament to clean up London and Joseph got to work on the new sewers. Plans were drawn up and the sewer system was completed by the middle of the 1870s, which saw cholera rates drop rapidly as the city became cleaner.

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Many of the sewers that were built during the Victorian era in the UK are still in use today – and with an ever-growing population, we all need to ensure that what we are putting down the drains isn’t going to cause problems for the sewers.

As well as taking care of what we put down the plugholes and the toilet, we also should keep our drains healthy and be aware of the things that can cause drainage problems. If you suspect that you have a problem with your drains, get a professional like this CCTV drain surveys Reading based company to come and take a look at them for you, as leaving it will make it worse.

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