The general evidence indicates that the specific bacteria of cholera discharges are capable of a much longer existence in the superficial soil layers than was formerly supposed; consequently it is specially necessary to guard against pollution of the soil, and through it against the probable contamination of both water and air.
Under these acts a sanitary authority is authorized to take proceedings to restrain interference with the due flow of a stream or the pollution of its waters by throwing into it the solid refuse of any manufactory or quarry, or any rubbish or cinders, or any other waste or any putrid solid matter.
The estimated cost was between three and four millions sterling, to be met by a toll, and it was urged that a uniform depth, independent of tides, would be ensured above the dam, that delay of large vessels wishing to proceed up river would thus be obviated, that the river would be relieved of pollution by the tides, and the necessity for constant dredging would be abolished.
Deep wells owe their comparative immunity from pollution to the circumstances that the larger quantity of water yielded renders it worth while to pump that water and convey it by pipes from comparatively unpolluted areas; and that any impurities in the water must have passed through a considerable depth, and by far the larger part of them through a great length of filtering material, and must have taken so long a time to reach the well that their organic character has disappeared.
An important investigation undertaken by the Bacterioscopical Laboratory, with regard to the pollution of the Venetian canals by the city sewage, led to the discovery that the water of the lagoons possesses auto-purifying power, not only in the large canals but even in the smallest ramifications of the waterways.
The Thames and the Lea Conservancies have powers to guard against the pollution of the rivers.
Heathenish cults and forbidden manners and customs are a pollution to the land and a deep insult to the true God.
The laws and edicts of this period read like paraphrases of Savonarola's sermons, and indeed his counsels were always given as addenda to the religious exhortations in which he denounced the sins of his country and the pollution of the church, and urged Florence to cast off iniquity and become a truly Christian city, a pattern not only to Rome but to the world at large.
Shared in the devastation of Rome by the Goths under Vitiges in the 6th century and by the Lombards at a later period; and partly through the spoliation of these barbarian invaders, partly through the neglect of those who should have been their guardians, they sank into such a state of decay and pollution that, as the only means of preserving the holy remains they enshrined from further desecration, Pope Paul I., in the latter part of the 8th century, and Pope Paschal, at the beginning of the 9th, entered upon the work of the translation of the relics, which was vigorously carried on by successive pontiffs until the crypts were almost entirely despoiled of their dead.
And this will go on as long as we have the free enterprise system, where markets reward those who devise solutions for, say, pollution abatement or alternative energy creation.