§ MR. FIRTH
asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether his attention has been called to the Report of Dr. Frankland, the analyst to the Local Government Board, published in the Report of the Board for 1881, page 290, that of the water delivered in London in the previous year "71,879,776 gallons were sometimes grossly polluted by sewage matters," and to the statement that this pollution was greater than in any previous recorded year, and that—Much filthy matter from sewers, cesspools, and cultivated fields was swept into itduring those periods of the year when the river was flooded, and that—No practicable amount of storage could have prevented the supply of such water to London during. the last three years (p. 292). The water both of the Thames and Lea is becoming year by year less suitable for domestic use. There is no protection against noxious organic matter in polluted river water even when efficiently filtered;whether his attention has also been called to the following paragraph in Dr. Frankland's Report for 1882 (p. 208, and re-stated by the Local Government Board, p. ccxxiii.):—The inner circle of London was supplied as usual by eight companies with water, the average daily volume of which was 149,190,193 gallons, being an increase of nearly 7 millions of gallons upon the previous year. Of this 74,311,816 gallons were at times largely polluted with organic matters; 65,999,067 gallons were occasionally so polluted, but to a less degree; whilst only 8,879,310 gallons were of uniformly good quality for drinking ….. The supply was abundant, and the quality of the river water, though much better than usual, left much to be desired, and was at times very objectionable. The samples were all taken directly from the mains at places recommended by the respective companies. They were therefore unattended by impurities contracted in the cisterns of the consumers;and, whether he is able to state what has been for the last twelve months the number of gallons—(a.) "At times largely polluted with organic matter;" (b.) "occasionally so polluted, but to 2095 a less degree;" (c.) "of uniformly good quality for drinking?
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
Sir, the statements referred to appear in the Reports of Professor Frankland for the years 1880 and 1881. Dr. Frankland's general Report for 1882 is qualified by the statement that—The comparative freedom from excessive organic pollution, which has been observed in Thames water since the year 1875, is probably due to the increased storage space acquired by the Companies drawing from this source. In consequence of this increased storage capacity it is no longer necessary to impound the worst flood waters.The most recent Reports of Professor Frankland, with the exception of that for the month of June, which was read in the House on Monday last, are the Reports for April and May of the present year. The Report for April, 1883, states—The Thames water sent out by the Chelsea, West Middlesex, Southwark, Grand Junction, and Lambeth Companies was, for river water, unusually free from organic matter. The supplies were also in every case delivered in an efficiently filtered condition. The water drawn from the Lea and distributed by the New River and East London Companies also showed the same marked improvement in quality as the Thames waters, the New River Company's supply containing even a still smaller proportion of organic matter.The Report for May, 1883, states—The Thames water sent out by the Chelsea, West Middlesex, Southwark, Grand Junction, and Lambeth Companies was, for river water, unusually free from organic matter, though not quite so much so as in the previous month. The water drawn from the Lea by the New River and East London Companies was delivered in an efficiently filtered condition, and contained also an exceptionally small proportion of organic matter.