Page images
PDF
EPUB

providing more than the bare minimum of space is obvious, and is generally recognized. It must be remembered that, as a rule, quite one-sixth of the total area of a cemetery is taken up by roads, paths and ornamental grass or beds of flowers and shrubs, the chapels, mortuaries, lodges, &c., and sufficient width should be allowed between each grave-space to permit every grave being reached without trampling on others. A standard of 110 burials per acre has sometimes been taken, but this appears to be rather a small one. It has been estimated by others that an acre of ground is capable of affording decent burial to not more than 136 bodies yearly, but in the thirtyseven burial-grounds of Liverpool, taking one with another, the number of burials to an acre is fully double that just stated. Were the calculation confined to the burial-grounds most in use, the proportion would be greatly augmented. Therefore, the whole subject of the locality of the cemetery should be regulated by authority, so that the graves of the multitudes of the dead should not be close to the habitations of the living, so that the air we breathe and the water we drink should not become contaminated with the product of decaying animal matter.

Therefore, since inhumation is the generally adopted method of disposing of the dead at the present time, and in view of all the evils that have been pointed out in the past and that may arise in the future, it is plainly apparent that no cemetery should be located or managed without due authority from some sanitary board.

In conclusion, I cannot do better than to quote from the admirable and exhaustive treatise on Sepulture, by Dr. Stephen Wickes, already alluded to. He says: “The country towns in the vicinity of our great cities have become suburban; small villages have become considerable cities. The population, as it increases, crowds upon the old and venerated burying-places, and they are enlarged to meet their increasing interments. The authorities of such towns are stimulated by their growth to add to their attractions by improvements in their drainage, by abating nuisances, and by conveniences of various sorts; but when, as has occurred in some towns, they are warned of the dangers of the grave-yards, and importuned to abate them, they let them alone, to receive their annually increasing dead, to exhale their noxious miasm, to pollute their water-supply, and to become nuisances of a daily increasing power for evil. The most of the governments of Europe have prohibited intramural interments absolutely. In our own country, the disposal of the dead has not been a subject of legis

lation by State legislators, to whom it properly belongs. The regulation of burials has been left to municipal authority, liable to be governed in its action by local influences. * * * The legislatures of our States adopt laws of quarantine to protect the people from the importation and consequent spread of contagion. The State of New Jersey, perhaps others, provides by a general law against the infection of cattle. Our law-makers do not recognize as they should the fearful dangers of the inhumation of human bodies dead from malignant diseases, with its specific germs-germs which float in the air we breathe and the water we drink; germs which neither boiling or freezing can destroy; germs which, after being buried in the earth for centuries, when brought to the surface by excavations produce a pestilence, and which, like vegetable seed germs buried for ages in the earth, when brought to the surface bring forth fruit after its kind. * * * Inhumation commends itself to the traditional sentiments of the people, and an innovation upon these is not demanded. * * * Rural cemeteries, properly regulated, under wise control, guarded by good laws, and permanently extramural, afford all necessary protection to the public health.”

SANITARY INQUIRIES AS TO HEALTH RESORTS

AND OTHER LOCALITIES.

The examination of the various health resorts of the State was commenced about the 20th of April and continued at intervals during the year. Our object was to find the present condition, and, also, how far suggestions made in former visits had been carried out. It was gratifying to find that, with rare exceptions, great improvement was manifest, both in the diligence and intelligence of Boards of Health. At Cape May, the sewer system had been extended, and more attention given to the ventilation of the sewers, especially at the points of house connection.

It had been noticed the previous year that one large hotel was greatly needing a reconstruction of its sanitary arrangements. It was unfortunate that this was not reached more promptly, but the building has now been greatly improved in its sanitary condition. If only the management of the hotels and large boarding houses is made as good as that of matters outside of buildings we believe prevalent healthfulness will result. There must be a thorough system of house to house inspection by those competent and fearless, and a report to the Board of Health of any deficiency either in construction or administration.

CAPE MAY POINT.

This locality has recently come into notice as a winter as well as summer resort. An examination showed that it was dependent on driven wells, which differed somewhat in the quality of the water. The drainage is not so good as it should be, but it is hoped that ere this unnecessary pond holes have been drained and filled.

The provisions of the hotels as winter resorts were incomplete, and a thorough reconstruction as to sanitary arrangements in that occupied for the winter was recommended. The owners have now taken hold of the problem fully and are applying the “ Pullman " method to the drainage and sewerage of the entire city.

VINELAND.

This inland resort was found to have made many important improvements during the past year. A system of inspection is carried out, and a Board of Health with intelligent activity and full powers is diligent in its service. In a few cases of dilatory action on the part of occupants of property we had the opportunity of seeing the recognition of health authority, and feel sure that great progress is being made. The people respond to these improvements and thus help to aid in the appreciation of the locality as a place of winter and spring sojourn.

ATLANTIC CITY.

The great sanitary event of the year for this city has been the introduction of a water supply which seems entirely satisfactory, both as to quantity and quality. Already the reward has come in increasing confidence in the city as both a winter and summer resort. The Board of Health has been aroused to new vigor, and is doing a great work in the interests of the city. A Health Inspector has been appointed, who devotes himself to an investigation of the sanitary condition of the city. The removal of garbage is much better managed than formerly. The rules as to privy construction and cleansing are more diligently enforced. Better than all, the city itself, or enterprising citizens thereof, have come to realize that it was in vain to point to natural advantages, to sandy soil, or to former crude methods of slop-water disposal, as adequate to the care of the liquid refuse of so large and crowded a resort.

Hence a contract has been made by which all liquid material will be constantly carried out of the city by means of sewers to a distant point, where it will be mechanically and chemically treated and utilized. The system will be completed before spring, and thus enable all hotels and boarding houses to connect therewith. Visitors hereafter will not be content to sojourn where such provisions are not secured. The authorities will no doubt see to it that these sewers are properly flushed and ventilated. The city seeks the prompt removal of all decomposable materials without its transfer into any

adjacent waters. The spirit and enterprise which have been manifested and the inspection which has been instituted, deserve and will receive recognition.

All these growing cities need to assert and exercise, through their Boards of Health, the right to secure healthy domiciliary conditions. The change of sentiment on some leading sanitary topics was not less encouraging than the actual activity which was manifested.

The city has now contracted for a system of sewers which will entirely remove all liquid refuse at once, and thus by the coming summer complete a sewer delivery and clarification at a distance beyond the suburbs.

POINT PLEASANT.

The development at this point has been so rapid the last year as to make it necessary to inquire carefully into its general situation and constructive arrangements.

Its water-supply is from driven wells of varying value. While many of these are reliable, it is advised that cisterns above ground be used for potable water until a more general supply is secured.

The water level of the soil is near the surface, and there is much need of efficient drainage. In parts, this is being attended to. The construction, as well as the emptying of all closets, should be in charge of a skilled inspector. It is one of those places which must depend upon active and intelligent regulation and administration.

A water company was formed early in 1883, and before another summer a full supply is probable. The proper garbage, water-closet and sewage disposal will depend upon the exercise of proper sanitary police, which is sure to exist if only visitors, in a way that is not captious, see to it that some system is being carried out.

OCEAN BEACH.

This locality shows no improvement in its care of sanitary conditions. The ground water level is high, and no skilled attention is given to drainage. The water-supply is mostly from driven wells, which are generally surface wells. Privy vaults are of the crudest construction. Slop-water is disposed of in cesspools, often in close proximity to wells. This sanitary lawlessness has not been without its deleterious results. The locality is capable of being made one of

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »