This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
Pelos (mud), and myxa (mucus). These are protoplasmic animals classed with rhizopods - rhizos (root), and poda (foot) - root-footed animals.
They are fresh-water organisms, forming large amoeboid masses of brown or yellowish color. They gorge themselves with mud, and, perhaps, might well be called by the English signification, mud mucuses.
These are common in Croton and hydrant waters. For a long time the writer was accustomed to call them masses of humus, as they appeared in broken, irregular, shapeless masses, but having found quite a number of perfect forms in greater abundance when the water tasted badly, and since they are closely allied to the sponges, he thought they should be included in the estimation of animal impurities, like the sponge. Dr. Cuzner thought that the peculiar, dry bitterness of the water might be due to the pelomyxas, as he found them specially abundant at that time.
Fig. 1. - Organisms in Croton-water.
Other rhizopods are difflugia (J. Fig. 1; C, Fig. 1), nebla (F, Fig. 1), plagiophrys (L, Fig. 1), E, amoeba. He thinks when killed, like sponges, by the drought and excessive waste of water, by the mud being laid bare, that they must pollute the water; how much, in our present state of knowledge, cannot be told exactly. Here is a wide field of effort opened for exploration, and it is fervently hoped, for the sake of the State, medicine and public health, it will be thoroughly occupied.
These all are found in the hydrant water, showing that they have the power to locomote away from the mud supposed to be their only habitat, through the upper and marginal portions of the lakes. Indeed some of them are obtained by dipping water with a tumbler from the central surfaces of lakes ! When alive and healthy, they are not supposed suspicious - only when dead and decaying.
Gemiasma verdans (II, Fig. 1). - This is interesting as being one of the so-called ague plants, found in great abundance in ague tracts in and near New York in low, marshy or boggy soils, in the morning before the sun is up - growing up in the night and killed by sunlight. Found on soil above-named, in August, September and October, but quite common in Croton water flowing from the watershed. Studies into the mode in which they cause ague prove their introduction into the system by inhalation, so that when taken into the stomach it is not probable that they induce the disease, though in old cases they are found in the blood, urine, sweat, and sputa of patients. It would bear studying.
M, Fig. 1, is a collection of common yeast-plant found in Croton more at some times than others, and more likely to be injurious the longer the water is kept standing in vessels. Reinsch regards yeast as a poison when present in quantities, and says that were it not killed by baking, bread would be a poison to man. This should be studied carefully.
N, Fig. 1, Leptothrix. - Most abundant sometimes on letting Croton water stand twenty-four hours. While the leptotrix buccalfs of every one's mouth is innocent, it is .a subject of inquiry to know whether the one whose delicacy cannot be represented here in a cut is innocent or not.
0, Fig. 1, is an epithelium from the skin of a consumptive, with a collection of yeast-plants within.
By way of suggestion, in closing, for protection of any who desire it, the best mode is to filter through cotton cloth, often changed and removed, and then boil the water, and let it cool. If desired to be drank cold, it may be put into clean bottles, and set into a refrigerator.