This section is from the book "The Principles And Practice Of Modern House-Construction", by G. Lister Sutcliffe. Also available from Amazon: How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home.
The three examples given in the last chapter are more or less hypothetical; it will probably be useful, especially to the student, to give an example from the writer's own practice, and to give it in the form of a specifieation. Some preliminary account of the insanitary state of the house must first he given, in order that the various items of the specification may be fully understood. The description will be more easily followed by referring to Plate XXVII, which Lb a copy of the plan showing the alterations.
Scarcely anything more foul can be imagined than the "sanitary" arrangements of this puhlic-house.The external urinal was a wooden structure, without any vessel or impervious surface to receive the urine; in consequence of this, the adjacent room was scarcely ever free from objectionable smells. The internal urinal on the first floor was without water-supply, and consequently very nasty. The drains were in great part unventilated. The water-closet on the first floor was a filthy pan-closet, and without water for many weeks in the year, as in dry weather the water would not rise to the ceiling of the first floor, where the cistern was fixed. The arrangement for conveying the soil from the closet to the drain was, I think, the foulest conceivable. A pipe was taken from the outgo of the trap through the wall, and led down the slope of the roof below, as shown in Fig. 700, to the central gutter; here the soil was discharged - less than two yards from the bath-room window, - to find its way as best it could along the gutter (which was of cast-iron and practically level) to the 5-inch rain-water pipe at <,, (on the plan), which was connected directly with the drain and was not trapped The iron gutter was exposed in the room below, and the smell from it pervaded the apartment to such an extent that this was scarcely ever used. The cleansing of the gutter by the plumber was, as might be expected, a most nauseous operation. As it was impossible to take an external soil-pipe from the w.c in its old position, a new room was constructed for it, opening from the bath-room, and by this alteration the soil-pipe could be placed outside the building, and, as it was at the head of the drain, it could also serve as the ventilating shaft for the whole of the drains Two hopper water-closets (without water) were attached to the back of the building, and were separated from the scullery in parts by only a 4 1/2-inch brick wall, which was not in the best condition. These closets have been removed, and a new slop-water closet constructed, as shown at D on Plate XXVII.; this alteration is not only a sanitary improvement, but has rendered the passage at K unnecessary, and consequently saved the rent of 10s. per annum which had formerly been paid for the right of using it. In the very contracted space available, undoubtedly a proper water-closet would have been much better than the slop-closet, but the insufficient water-supply and the condition of some of the persons using the closet led to the use of Duckett's automatic apparatus.
Fig. 700. - Dangerous Soil pipe and Soil-gutter, actually found by the found by the writer in an existing house.
ALTERED SANITARY ARRANGEMENTS OF PUBLIC-HOUSE.
A. Gully and trap for sink-waste and
R.W. pipe, with tipper under for flushing drains,
B. Soil-pipe and ventilation-pipe. C|. Gully and trap for sink-waste.
C2. Gully and trap for R.W. pipe.
C3 Golly and trap for wastes from bath and lavatory, and from sink F. C4 Golly and trap for waste from urinal and R.W. pape. D. Tipper W.C.
E. External urinal.
H. Disconnecting chamber.
J. Air-inlet to disconnecting chamber.
It could scarcely be expected that a house with so many sanitary defects should have a clean bill of health. No sanitarian will be surprised to hear that a child died from diphtheria in the house, and that the health of the other occupants has suffered in a greater or less degree.
The following Specification describes the various alterations made to improve the sanitary condition of the house, but with one or two minor modifications. It will be noticed that the question of cost has been allowed to influence the alterations to a very considerable extent, some of the new arrangements being not the very best that could have been made, although sufficient, it is believed, to remove the serious dangers which undoubtedly menaced the occupants of the house before the alterations were begun. The architect and sanitary engineer are often compelled to compromise matters in this way.
SPECIFICATION of the work and materials required in improving the sanitary arrangements at the------ Inn,------, for------, Esq.
Sutcliffe. and SUTCLIFFE, A.R.I.B.A., M.San.I.
General. - The contractor must provide all necessary materials, tools, labour, scaffolding, timbering for trenches, etc, and must carry out the work in a thoroughly sound and workmanlike manner according to the drawings and this specification, and to the entire satisfaction of the architects.
The work must be carried out in such portions and at such times as the architects may direct.
Give all necessary notices to the Corporation for opening the street, making a connection with the sewer, etc., and pay all fees.