Protecting the Purity of Inland Waters

by Gordon M. Fair,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 6, Pg. 1-12

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Massachusetts Act to Protect the Purity of Inland Waters of 1886 established engineers as well as chemists and biologists as American health authorities. An experiment station at Lawrence, Mass., and a division of engineering in Boston were established to meet research and administrative responsibilities. Water-borne diseases were placed under control. Urbanization and industrialization, as now, lay at the base of water pollution. Today (1964), however, chemical rather than biological pollutions remain unchecked in an era of renewed urban and industrial growth, intensified agriculture, and resource development. Infectious-disease problems were solved by the U. S. Public Health Service at the interstate and national level. There, too, mounting environmental hazards are more especially chemical in kind because of the expansion of chemical industries and wider use of chemicals in agriculture. Chemicals not necessarily toxic are also involved. Phosphorous, for example, is a key element in the eutrophication of lakes.

Subject Headings: Chemicals | Industries | Water pollution | Agricultural wastes | Water management | Diseases | Environmental issues | Municipal water | Massachusetts | United States | Boston

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