Chapter

The Company (II) The Nineteenth-century Water Question

BERNARD RUDDEN

in The New River

Published in print May 1985 | ISBN: 9780198254973
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681547 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254973.003.0007
The Company (II) The Nineteenth-century Water Question

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The nineteenth century saw four Royal Commissions, dozens of Select Committees, scores of unsuccessful Bills, and over a hundred Acts of Parliament devoted to the metropolitan water supply; at the end of the century it was still in private hands. Firstly, there was the problem of the sources from which the growing conurbation was to obtain so vital a necessity. Secondly, there was the issue of the quality of the water. Thirdly, the disputes about the supply of water raged in committees. Fourthly, there was the problem of what the householder was to do with water after use. The resolution of this conflict introduced the fifth problem: Sir Edwin Chadwick. He, along with his Benthamite colleagues, fought for a scheme which was later taken for granted: that water should be used not merely for household and industrial purposes but also as the motive power for cleansing away human excrement and other refuse.

Keywords: Royal Commissions; Select Committees; Acts of Parliament; Benthamite colleagues; human excrement

Chapter.  17886 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Law

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