Excerpt from Practical Hints on the Analysis of Water and Sewage: For the Use of Medical Officers of Health, Medical Practitioners, Sanitary Engineers, Etc
The question What is a pure and wholesome water is one which, in addition to its chemical aspect, involves a variety of ... considera tions, and requires, before it can be answered, several distinct kinds of knowledge - knowledge which, as a rule, has only been acquired by a medical man specially trained in sanitary science. Such points as, what quantity of zinc or lead in a water, or what amount of sulphate of calcium, will prove injurious to health, are considera tions in practical medicine demanding a knowledge of therapeutics and physiology. A thorough familiarity with the chemistry of water analysis is also necessary, and for the correct interpretation of the results of analysis the medical officer must be well versed in all such general hygienic considerations as the circulation of under ground water in the various geological formations and the changes it thereby undergoes. A knowledge of microscopy and bacteriology is also necessary. In addition, a careful inspection of the source of the water should always be made, and this inspection, in the case of public supplies, should only be entrusted to one who has had actual experience in practical sanitation, as he will have to decide what may be considered a safe distance from sources of pollution under different geological and structural conditions.
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