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in camps in this State, serious outbreaks occurred elsewhere, and the War Department exhausted this surplus of serum.
Much of the research activity of the laboratory has been curtailed by the strenuous demands of the war work and the preparations for emergencies. Only such technical problems as promised to improve the methods and yield immediate results have been undertaken.
Time and effort have been given to formulate and bring together the standard methods of procedure in use in the routine work of the laboratory and to have this technique arranged so that changes and improvements may be recorded. It is intended to have all outlines and reports of research and investigation problems, and all scientific papers written by members of the staff kept in the library. They are to be arranged in a special file, with an accompanying index. The library has been fully organized and is the most suitable department to attend to the work. This matter of caring for the scientific literature relating to the laboratory activities and containing in many cases the results of research and investigation has been shown to be very necessary. The laboratory has grown with such rapidity and the demands for further expansion have been so insistent, that the former system of filing has become entirely inadequate for the needs of rapid reference. In fact, at no time in the history of the laboratory has there been a satisfactory record of the procedures that are used in the work.
At the beginning of the year 1914, when the laboratory was first reorganized, the staff numbered 17. During the summer of 1917 a maximum staff of 137 was required to carry on all the work. The laboratory employees has been forced to work under the most discouraging conditions in the laboratory buildings on Yates street and at the farm, but every one is greatly cncouraged by the prospect of a new laboratory building and the new stables, both of which are so necessary. Despite the phenomenal growth of the laboratory, the necessity of securing such large increases in the appropriations, and the continual shortage of these appropriations which are no sooner made than exhausted by the growth of the work, it is most gratifying and encouraging to feel that the value of the work is recognized. This has been substantially expressed by the support which Governor Whitman and the Legislature have given.
Division of Sanitary Engineering
To the Engineering Division falls the responsibility of Supervising the work of protecting the sanitary quality of public water supplies, the disposal of sewage and wastes from the municipalities and factories of the State, and the carrying out of investigations and measures for control over many activities of a sanitary engineering nature, such as garbage disposal, land drainage, mill and factory nuisances, milk pasteurization, etc.
The volume of work performed by this division has been increasing from year to year since the organization of the division in 1906. The work carried on during 1917 was not only greater in amount than during any preceding year, but more extensive in scope. New lines of effort, particularly the investigation of the sanitary construction and operation of milk pasteurization plants and the inspection of sanitation at military camps, aviation fields and naval bases within the State have been added to the routine and special work usually performed by this division. To meet these increments in the work the engineering force has been increased during 1917 by the addition of one assistant engineer, one engineering draftsman and three inspectors.
A numerical summary of the more important matters which have been disposed of by the Engineering Division during the year 1917 appears in the following table for comparison with the corresponding figures for 1916:
Letters and other correspondence referred to
Investigation of sanitary condition of State insti-
Concerning the routine work of the division, as shown by the foregoing table, it may be noted that sections 76 to 84 of the Public Health Law and various provisions of the Town and Willage Law place with this Department the general Supervision over the design of works for sewerage and sewage disposal and questions of stream pollution. The sections referred to provide that, unless a permit for such discharge shall have been issued by the State Commissioner of Health, no sewage or manufacturing wastes shall be discharged into any stream. The law also provides that in case of sewage discharge which creates a nuisance or menace to health, the State Commissioner of Health, with the concurrence of the Governor and Attorney-General, may issue an order requiring the discontinuance of such sewage discharge and the construction of proper sewage disposal works. The work carried on under these sections is very important and while not constituting the greater part of the entire work of the division, does embody the bulk of the activities specifically required by Statute. In the prosecution of this work during 1917, specific examinations and reports of 150 plans for sewerage and sewage disposal have been made prior to approval of these plans by the commissioner, and in addition general investigations relating to sewerage and sewage disposal have been conducted in several municipalities. It is obvious that no branch of the work of the Engineering Division is of greater moment in the protection of public health than the work of investigating and supervising the sanitary quality of the public water supply. Following the policy carried out during recent years, especial attention has been given to this work. Five hundred out of a total of 530 public water supplies in the State have now been investigated. Although the number of new supplies investigated in 1917 was only 30, the prosecution of this work involved reinspection of supplies previously inspected and the total number of supplies thus covered was 130. The full significance of this work of protecting public water supplies was set forth at length in the last annual report of this Department, where it was stated that in 1908, when these investigations were first undertaken, there existed some 400 public water supplies serving a population of 6,100,000 and only 50 of these supplies, serving a population of approximately 700,000, were receiving any kind of purification treatment.
At the end of 1917 there exists approximately 530 public water supplies serving a population of about 8,200,000, of which supplies some 110 receive purification, serving a population of 6,800,000. This means that during this decade the population protected by water purification has increased from 700,000 to 6,800,000. In this same period the typhoid fever death rate for the State has decreased from 19.0 in 1906 to 5.6 in 1917, and the greatest factor in the reduction of this typhoid fever mortality has been the increased protection afforded by water purification. Six sets of “Rules and Regulations for the Protection from Contamination of Public Water Supplies” were enacted during the year by the commissioner under the provisions of section 70 of the Public Health Law, these rules having been prepared by the Engineering Division following an inspection of the watersheds to which they related. Many complaints are received each year at the Department regarding public nuisances and cases of stream pollution. While most of these complaints are referred to local boards of health for suitable action under the powers wested in said boards by the Public Health Law, it is necessary in a large proportion of cases that the complaints be investigated by the Engineering Division, especially where the question of sewerage is involved, where the public nuisance complained of is one of considerable magnitude, or involves plans which require an engineering examination and a report. During the year about 35 investigations of public nuisance and cases of stream pollution were conducted and recommendations for remedial action made to the local boards of health and to the parties responsible for the nuisance. One of the new lines of routine work taken up during the year has been the investigation of the efficiency of milk pasteurizing plants. This work has involved a detailed inspection and examination of 148 plants in which milk pasteurization is carried on. Subsequently recommendations for improvements in the construction, equipment, and operation of the plants were made in order that the product might meet the requirements of the sanitary code with respect to the bacterial count. The work of making detailed examinations of the sanitary condition of State institutions was continued in 1917, some 25 institutions being investigated. Reports with recommendations were transmitted to the institution authorities and to the state boards or commissions having general supervision over them. The work of inspecting the condition and operation of sewage disposal plants has not been prosecuted to the same extent as in recent years owing to the greater necessity of utilizing the services of the engineers of the division in investigating public water supplies. Some fifteen investigations of the condition of operation and efficiency of operation of sewage disposal plants were made, however, as a result of complaints of nuisance in streams or of faulty operation of these plants and recommendations for changes and improvements in the construction and manner of operating the plants here submitted to the local authorities. An extensive investigation was carried on during the Summer and fall of the alleged emission of smoke, gases, fumes and vapors from chemical and other manufacturing plants on the west side of the Hudson River in the Borough of Edgewater, N. J., with a view to determining whether such fumes were carried across the river to New York. A further hearing is to be held in this matter for a consideration of the conclusions reached during this investigation. While the table of routine work given above shows in general a marked increase in the volume of office work in practically every branch of the work listed, the table is by no means complete, nor does it include certain important special investigations which have required a considerable amount of time during the year. The table does not include, for example, the inspection of the sanitary condition of military camps, naval bases and airplane stations, and the territory immediately surrounding these camps and stations to which precedence was always given whenever the assistance of the Department was requested by the military authorities for the placing and maintaining of these camps, stations and zones in a sanitary condition. Some fifteen camps, naval bases and aviation stations have been thus investigated. In one instance an extensive sanitary survey was made of a neighboring village and subsequent action was taken by the Department to require certain sanitary improvements to be made. In addition to regular water supply inspection, referred to above, it has been necessary for this division to assist local authorities in providing safety measures for local water supplies by the