That it has become one of the healthiest cities in the world from being one of the unhealthiest is attributable in great measure to his insistence on the necessity of sanitary reform, and it was his unceasing efforts that secured for its inhabitants the drainage system, the sewage farms and the good water-supply, the benefits of which are reflected in the decreased death-rate they now enjoy.
But his name is most familiar in connexion with his work in practical hygiene, as an apostle of good water, fresh air and proper sewage disposal.
Above the intakes of the water companies (at Hampton or in the vicinity), the Thames Conservancy has enforced the requirements of parliament that no sewage or other pollution shall be allowed to pass into the Thames, into its tributary streams, or even into any water communicating with them.
The city is divided into twelve radial systems, each with a pumping station, and the drainage is forced through five mains to eighteen sewage farms, each of which is under careful sanitary supervision, in respect both of the persons employed thereon, and the products, mainly milk, passing thence to the city for human consumption.
Of the 19,000 houses in Venice only 6000 have drains and sinks, all the others discharge sewage through pipes directly or indirectly into the canals.
At the mouth of the Roding (Barking Creek) are great sewage works, receiving the Northern Outfall sewer from London.
It should be free from dirt - that is to say, free from clay or soft mud, for instance, which prevents the cement adhering to its particles, or again from sewage matter or any substance which will chemically destroy the matrix.
The national expenditures are chiefly for the interest and amortization charges on the public debt, official salaries, military expenses in connexion with the army and navy, public works (including railway construction, port improvements, water and sewage works), the administration of the state railways, telegraph lines and post office, church subsidies, public instruction and foreign representation.
His system for the disinfection of sewage and similar matter by the electrolysis of chlorides, or of sea-water, has been tried, but for the most part abandoned on the score of expense.
In the work of improving the city, the national government assumed the expense of the commercial quays, the filling of the Sao Christovao bay, the opening of the Mangue canal and its embellishment, the opening of the Avenida Central, the extension of the sewage system and the addition of new sources to the water supply, while the city was responsible for the Avenida Beira-Mar, the opening of a new avenue from the Largo da Lapa westward to Rua Frei Caneca, the removal of the Morro do Senado, the widening of some streets crossing the Avenida Central and the opening and straightening of other streets.