Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/335

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


HO USE-DRAIN A GE. 321

ranged. There are many other details which the inspector will examine ; but it is not the object of this paper to describe his work. To determine the j)oints above mentioned the inspector will wish, first, to plug the soil-pipe between the house and the sewer, so that he can fill with water that part of the pipe beneath the cellar-floor, and thus determine whether there are leakage and probable soil pollution, which will necessitate the opening of the floor to find the leak. Next, he will wish to test the vertical part of the soil-pipe, connecting-pipes, and fixtures for gas leakage, by blowing into the pipe from below either smoke or sulphurous-acid gas, or by pouring in oil of peppermint from above. Often leaky joints, damaged fixtures, etc., can be found by mere inspection ; but often, also, some such special tests as those indicated above are desirable. The inspector will also wish to know precisely where all the pipes and traps of the house-drainage are, how they are connected, and what are their sizes. If the householder can show him a plan giving this information, it is well ; but if not, he may have to prepare one for himself, and for this purpose to take up floors, cut into the walls, etc.

Every house-owner should have such a plan, just as he should have a record of title ; and every one who hires a house will act wisely in examining such a plan before signing his lease. The proper time for obtaining this plan is when the drainage system is put in the house. This brings us to a brief consideration of a fourth point of view of house-drainage, viz., that of the sanitary authorities, or ofiicials charged with the duty of seeing that indi- vidual premises do not become nuisances or injurious to the pub- lic health. Most of our large cities now have regulations with regard to house-drainage and sewer connection, based upon the following principles, viz. : 1. That a man must so use his prop- erty that it shall not be a source of offense or injury to others. 2. That the condition of sewers depends, to a considerable extent, on the character and condition of the sewage discharged into them, and that the municipality which is charged with the con- struction and maintenance of a common system of sewers has the right to regulate, within certain limits, what shall be turned into them. If cess-pool overflows, and sewage from long horizontal reaches of pipe, are turned into the sewer, it must contain putrid sewage ; and it will be correspondingly difiicult to ventilate it and keep it in proper condition. 3. That the arrangements for house- drainage are intimately connected with those of house water-sup- ply ; and that where the municipality furnishes a general water- supply, it has the right to make regulations and inspections to prevent waste and to see that it is properly used.

Municipal regulations for house-drainage vary somewhat in different cities; but in general they provide that, for all new

TOL. XXXIT.— 21

�� �