The disposal of sewerage in districts where there are no public sewers at hand is often a matter of difficulty. Formerly, it was believed that if a running body of water, river or creek, was at hand, into which the sewerage could be emptied, the question of adequate sewer systems was solved. Frequent epidemics of diphtheria and scarlet fever, have called forth careful investigation, which has proven that the pollution of streams contiguous to domestic water supplies with sewerage, is one of the greatest dangers to health. This subject is being more closely studied every year, which is probably due to the wide publicity given it in discussions and reports of health departments. It is the purpose to consider some of the best sanitary systems and appliances applicable to the convenience and health of country districts. A system which is adaptable for one place will not prove an adequate or effectual system for another. It lies with the plumber or builder to study the conditions as they exist, and to exercise a little common sense.

The old out-door closet, with its revolting stench and inconvenience, is rapidly disappearing. Private and public water service have made it possible to install a modern bath room, even in the country, but the sewer disposal in most cases, is a puzzling proposition.

The primitive method of installing a leaching cesspool, which is a hole dug in the ground deep enough to allow five or six feet of space below the inlet end of the house drain pipe, and five or six feet wide, walled up with loose stones, the bottom left loose and filled with about a foot of small stones and the top walled over with a tight arch, and the earth filled in to the grade level thereby depending on the liquid to ooze away through the porous strata, has a great many disadvantages. In the first place, in communities where the neighbors depend on wells for their water supply, it is very dangerous, as it invariably pollutes the subsoil in the neighborhood and contaminates the well water supply. On a farm where plenty of ground is available, if located at a good distance from the dwelling, and at a lower level in the opposite direction from the well, it may be used without causing any harm. In case such a cesspool is used, the arch should be built up to an opening, twenty inches in diameter, and run to the surface and closed with an inspection cover hermetically sealed by a rubber gasket.

The system of sub-surface irrigation for sewerage disposal has been very well thought of by our best sanitary engineers. It consists of two absolutely tight cesspools or concrete receptables, as shown in Fig. 5, built circular in shape, arched over, and with extended manholes to the surface, with tight inspection covers, also provided with an air-vest opening for the escape of gases, one tank to receive the drain from the house and to retain the solids and grease. The other for the liquid sewerage, connected together with an overflow pipe in such a manner that the first basin is drained into the second, without disturbing the grease and scum in the top of the first one, with a baffle plate, as shown, to prevent an underflow current from carrying the solids through to the second basin.

Disposal Of Sewage 8

Fig. 5.

In the drawing an inspection basin is shown with the syphon for emptying the liquid outside of the second basin. The advantage of this is that in case of the syphon failing to work properly, it is accessible without disturbing the other two tanks. Another very frequent construction, which, of course, avoids the expense of the inspection basin, is to place the syphon in the second tank and protect it with a wire screen. The advantage of having the inspection basin, of course, is obvious, and hardly needs to be further commented upon here. The opening from the syphon is run with a four or six-inch vitrified salt glazed sewer pipe with tightly cemented joints, to a point down grade, where it is connected with four by two inch Y branches to a series of two or three-inch porous drain tile, which should be laid in a trench about ten inches deep, never deeper, on boards, with a very small fall about three or four inches per hundred feet, tiles to be laid with open joints, and joints to be covered with a half ring of vitrified clay or cup, to protect the same from filling up when buried. The liquid tank can be emptied in several ways, either with a sluice valve or a gate valve, both of which necessitates personal attention. The advantage of using the syphon is that it is automatic.

There are a great many different kinds of syphons on the market, and it is sometimes a matter of personal opinion as to which is the best. The liquid tank should not be emptied more often than once every twenty-four hours, which allows plenty of time for the ground to thoroughly drain, and to breathe in more oxygen, and then in a volume sufficiently large enough to fill all the drain pipes at once, to insure an even distribution. This system is, of course, preferably adapted to a porous or gravel soil. In places where clay soil conditions exist, the soil should be drained at least four feet below the level with porous drain.