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Sanitary condition. Some 15 camps, naval bases and aviation stations have been thus investigated and in one instance an extensive sanitary survey was made of a neighboring village and subsequent action 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 installation of the Department’s emergency chlorine apparatus and to assist in such work in eight municipalities. In one case where a considerably increased number of cases of typhoid fever were occurring, it was necessary for extensive detailed supervision to be given by the Division in the operation of the chlorine apparatus, in order to sterilize the water supply which was found to be contaminated. This supervision continued over a period of two months pending the introduction of a new water supply and required daily visits to the municipality. Other special work carried on by the Division during the year has consisted in cooperation with the State Architect and State Engineer in determining upon feasible plans for water supply and sewage disposal for State institutions such as Wingdale, the Marcy Division of the Utica State Hospital, Kings Park, the Creedmoor Division of the Brooklyn State Hospital and at various other State institutions. This work has also involved numerous conferences with reference to estimates of appropriations needed to carry out the work. During the year also the services of a temporary inspector employed in the Department were lent to the Lake George Association for a period of eight weeks, during which time a detailed sanitary survey of some 500 properties adjoining and adjacent to the lake was made. Another special line of work carried on during the year has been in reference to sites for county tuberculosis hospitals. In order to expedite the work of establishing these hospitals in counties having populations of over 35,000 inspections have been carried on, by the Engineering Division, under arrangements made for such cooperation, covering 100 possible sites for hospitals in 13 counties, the work of the Division relating to the provision for adequate water supplies of satisfactory sanitary quality and the question of proper disposal of sewage at the sites under consideration.
Attention is again called to the serious handicapping of the work of the Division on account of the inconsistencies, ambiguities and deficiencies in existing laws which limit the effective work which might be done in improving the sanitary quality of public water supplies and in the removal of stream pollution. Legislation, which has been asked for in the past two sessions of the Legislature but not passed, is greatly needed to accomplish more effective results in these lines of work and it is expected that bills will be again introduced in the Legislature during the present session looking toward a more rational and effective basis of control by the State Department of Health.
In previous annual reports I have presented a progress chart showing graphically the work of the Engineering Division since 1907, the year following the organization of the Division. This chart has been extended to include the year 1917 and is again presented. The chart is almost self-explanatory, showing the volume of work by months according to its classified subdivisions, and gives at a glance a seasonal distribution of the work during each year and a ready comparison of the work of the year 1917 with previous years.
The work accomplished during the year is presented more in detail in the following pages, comprising the more important reports of the Division, which have been arranged and indexed in accordance with the classification uniformly adopted for all records of the Engineering Division.
Chief Engineer December 31, 1917
EXAMINATION AND APPROVAL OF PHANS FOR SEWERAGE AND SEWAGE DISPOSAL
Under the provisions of the Public Health, Village and Town Laws all plans for sewerage and sewage disposal for municipalities in this State must be submitted to and approved by the Commissioner of Health before the installation or construction of sewers or sewage disposal works is undertaken. The Public Health Law also provides that no sewage, factory wastes or other refuse shall be discharged into any of the waters of this State unless permission shall first have been granted by the State Commissioner of Health and that he may stipulate under what conditions sewage, sewage effluent or industrial wastes may be discharged. The work which the Engineering Division is called upon to do under these provisions of the law comprises one of the greater and more important of its routine duties.
In examining and passing upon plans for sewerage and sewage disposal for municipalities submitted for approval it is necessary not only to study carefully the details of the design and the adequacy and efficiency of the system as a whole but careful consideration must also be given to the degree of the treatment of the sewage provided for and the location of the outlet or outlets in order to preclude the creation of a nuisance in the municipality itself as well as in adjacent municipalities. It is important also that the degree of treatment of sewage shall be so adjusted as to prevent undue contamination of public water supplies that may be taken from the stream or other body of water receiving the effluent.
In addition to the plans for sewerage and sewage disposal for municipalities presented for approval many plans for sewage disposal for factories, private properties, schools and other institutions have been examined and passed upon during the past year. Although many of the disposal plants provided for by such plans have been relatively small it has nevertheless been necessary to give them considerable study and consideration in order to insure that they have been properly designed and that