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The Rushden Echo, 11th November 1910, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Sewage Disposal
Visit to Reigate Works

At the meeting of the Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday the following report was received from the Sewage Disposal Committee:-

Surveyor’s Office,
Rushden,
2nd November, 1910.

Gentlemen,

The Sewage Disposal Committee beg to report that Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, G. Miller, T. Swindall, C. Bates, and the Ven. A. Kitchen, together with the Surveyor journeyed to Reigate on Thursday, the 20th October, to inspect the Sewage Works belonging to the Reigate Corporation.

The deputation were met at the Works by Mr. F. T. Clayton, C.E., the Borough Engineer and Surveyor, who kindly showed them round and explained the working.

The site of the Works is at the Sewage Farm of 140 acres in extent, and the Outfall Sewer gravitates to the Works. The old Works constructed in 1893 at a cost of £16,621 dealt with Sewage by chemical precipitation, followed by land treatment. The land is of heavy clay, quite unsuitable for Sewage treatment, and in consequence of the failure of this system to produce a satisfactory effluent about eight years ago the Corporation instructed the Borough Engineer and Surveyor to prepare a scheme for dealing with the whole of the Sewage. The Scheme he recommended was the conversion of two of the old Precipitation Tanks into “sedimentation Tanks” and construction of Percolation Filter Beds and using revolving distributors. These Works were duly carried out at a cost of £19,710, and are what your Committee saw.

The population in 1901 was 26,000, and is now estimated to be 28,500, and the Works are designed to meet the requirements of a population of 30,000. The average daily dry weather flow is estimated at nearly a million gallons (a large quantity per head), and whilst largely domestic in character, nevertheless a considerable amount of waste liquor from a local Tan-yard and Brewery is satisfactorily dealt with.

After inspecting the Screening Chamber at the Sewage Outfall and passing by the tanks we came to the Filter Beds. There are seven on the high level and seven low level, the revolving distributors being 80 feet in diameter and the filters 4ft 6in. deep, the filtering medium being a hard clinker specially prepared. The system is double filtration, the levels allowing the effluent from the high level filters to discharge over the low level filters. The effluent from the latter was remarkably bright and clear and was passed direct into a small watercourse without further treatment. The standard of purity of the effluent was accepted by the Thames Conservancy as satisfactory. The land is still farmed by the Corporation and is used for dealing with excessive storm water but not for sewage treatment. The sludge gravitates from the tanks to the sludge well and is pumped into overhead pipes and delivered to shallow lagoons well drained on the farm a short distance from the tanks and no difficulty has been experienced in disposing of it. The local farmers fetch it away and pay 1/- a load for it. Under the old system the working expenses, including chemicals and sludge pressing, attending to irrigation, etc., were well over £1,200 a year, whereas for all purposes of sewage disposal, including sludge pumping the cost for the year 1909-10 was only £400. Six years ago there was a loss of about £600 on the Farming Account for the year, owing to the land being sewage sick, whereas the loss for the year ending March, 1910, was only £174.

In connection with the treatment of the Sewage proper only one man and two boys are employed on the Works at a cost of about £160 a year.

The Committee were well pleased with all they saw and were particularly impressed with the results obtained by double filtration.

The Works generally appeared to be very well looked after and there was but very little smell noticeable.

W. B. MADIN, C.E.
Surveyor to the Council.

The Chairman (Mr. F. Knight) said that the committee were greatly pleased with the Reigate works as a whole. They were quite up-to-date, and were managed and kept in really good style. Anyone walking close to the works or even through them would scarcely imagine they were near sanitary works at all. He was very glad the committee had seen these works, particularly because of the filtration beds. The committee had never seen beds which struck them as working so well for the length of time they had been in use (seven years); they looked perfectly fresh, as if they had only just been started. He hoped they would get further information with regard to the Reigate scheme, if possible, before they launched upon a scheme of their own at Rushden. He moved that a hearty vote of thanks be sent to the Reigate committee and to their surveyor, who was most courteous and seemed only too pleased to give all the information possible. That information as they would see from the report, was very useful.

Mr. J. Claridge seconded, and said that the Reigate works were the most satisfactory they had seen. Nobody could have taken greater pains to give all possible information than did Mr. Clayton.

Mr. C. Bates supported, and the proposition was carried.

Workmen’s Houses
The Churchyard Corner and The County Council
No Infectious Diseases

Mr. F. Knight, J.P., presided on Wednesday evening, and there were also present Messrs. John Claridge, J.P., C.C., (vice-chairman), G. Miller, C.C., F. Ballard, C. E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, C. Bates, J. Spencer, and W. Bazeley, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. Kingston).

Band Stand

The Chairman, referring to the letter from Mr. Bert Sanders and Mr. C. Cross with regard to the suggested provision of a stand for the use of the bands, said that the matter would be dealt with at the next meeting of the committee.

Minutes of Committees were then received.

Housing, Town Planning Etc., Act

A meeting of the Special Committee appointed by the Council at their meeting held on the 18th July last, was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 19th October, 1910, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, W. Bazeley, J. Spencer, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.

After very full discussion of the references made to them by the Council as to the demand for houses and the probabilities of such demand being met by private enterprise, it was resolved to report to the Council as follows:-

“That the Committee are of opinion that there is not sufficient evidence to lead the Council to suppose there is at the present time any pressing demand for houses which will not be met, as it has hitherto been, by private enterprise.”

An amendment moved by Mr. Bazeley and seconded by Mr. Spencer to the following effect found no other support:-

“That in the opinion of the Committee it is desirable to at once put into force Part 3 of the Housing and Town Planning, etc., Act in order to meet the pressing demand at present existing for housing accommodation in the town.”

Mr. Bazeley said he wished to call the attention of the Council to the phase in the report of the committee to the effect that his amendment “found no other support” than the mover and the seconder. As there were only five at the meeting, his amendment, if it had found any other support, would have been carried.

The Chairman said that was clear from the reading of the report.

Mr. Bazeley said he had no remarks to make on the merits of the question at this stage. It was a forlorn hope.

The report was adopted.

Plans, Etc Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 26th October, 1910, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, C. E. Bayes, W. Bazeley, J. S. Clipson, and G. Miller.

Plans

were presented by:-

The Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Gas Coy. for store shed and boundary wall at the Gas Works and passed.

The British United Shoe Machinery Coy. Ltd. for store room and office off the Station approach-road and passed.

The Central Machinery Coy. for cycle shed adjoining their Works in Rectory-road and no exception taken.

Mr. John Berridge for additions to No. 50, Station-road, and passed.

Messrs. Sargent and Coy. for new engine room to their factory in Crabb-street and passed.

Knuston Footpath

The Vice-Chairman reported that the Committee visited this footpath on Monday morning and found it in a greatly improved and satisfactory condition. Mr. Clark had under-taken to make good any subsidence which might from time to time take place in the made-up portion of the footpath and also clear away from time to time any earth which might fall upon it from the Knuston side. The Committee agreed that Mr. Clark might continue his work on the same lines bringing the level of the footpath down to the bottom of the ditch

The Surveyor was instructed to lay some clinkers on the path near the road and to fix steps on the two stiles.

Sandpit Road

Attention was again called to the bad state of this road and the insufficient lighting thereof.

The Committee agreed to meet on the site on Friday evening at 7.30.

The Committee met on the site on Friday evening and decided to recommended the Council to erect a lamp in this road and also to instruct the Surveyor to prepare an estimate for making up the road and constructing a footpath on the west side with a view to approaching the owners and ascertaining if they would be prepared to pay the expenses without putting into force the Private Street Works Act.

Road Board

The Surveyor submitted a letter received from the County Surveyor stating that the Roads and Bridges Committee of the County Council had been unable to put forward to the Road Board the proposals made by this Council for the widening and improving by the Church yard and requesting this Council to re-consider the matter, particularly as to whether the widening could not be effected on the opposite side of the road.

The Surveyor was instructed to acknowledge the letter and to state that the Council would like before further considering the matter to have an opportunity of meeting the Roads and Bridges Committee of the County Council on the site.

The report was adopted.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings, on Tuesday, the 1st November, 1910, at 10.a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, G. H. Skinner, and T. Swindall.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-

 
£
s
d
Week ending 6th Oct., 1910
37
11
4
Week ending 13th Oct., 1910
37
9
7
Week ending 20th Oct., 1910
39
8
3
Week ending 27th Oct., 1910
35
18
7

Collector’s Accounts

The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected since the last meeting:-

 
£
s
d
General District Rate
159
2
3
Other Roads and Sewers
3
8
9
Green Tolls

10
0
Burial-Fees, &c.
8
7
0
Total
171
8
0

Treasurer’s Accounts

The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-

 
£
s
d
Free Library, fees, fines, &c.
1
3
6
Collector, District rate
159
2
3
Baxter, Fitzwilliam-street drain
4
7
11
Local Gov. M. G'tee Sty re Tuck
3
4
9
Collector, Cemetery fees
8
7
0
Collector, fittings
3
8
9
Collector, Green tolls

10
0
Total
180
16
7

And that the balances on the under mentioned accounts were as follows:-

 
£
s
d
General Account
758
0
7
Loan Account No. 16
408
16
6
Loan Account No. 19
387
17
6
Loan Account No. 22
204
2
0
Total
1,758
16
0

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts, amounting to £444/4/9 were examined and passed for payment.

Memorandum of General District Rate

The Collector submitted the following memorandum of General District Rate made on the 11th day of May, 1910:-

 
£
s
d
£
s
d
Amount of rate
4341
0
11
 
 
 
Recoverable arrears of former rate
33
8
9
 
 
 
Supplemental list
23
17
0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4398
6
8
Amount collected
4274
14
9
 
 
 
Recoverable arrears
28
5
10
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4298
0
1
Irrecoverable arrears
 
 
 
100
6
1
Irrecoverable arrears…… 100 6 1


The Collector also submitted a list of the irrecoverable amounts which was made up as follows:-

 
£
s
d
Unoccupied property
72
17
8
Property pulled down
6
7
0
Land built upon
 
6
3
Allowance of 20 per cent. to owners
 
13
3
Allowance on unfinished property
7
1
11
Reduced on appeal
3
10
0
Exempt in service of the Crown
8
0
0
Exempt, used for religious purposes
1
10
0
 Total
100
6
1

and it was resolved to recommend to the Council that same be written off.

Dealing with the item “unoccupied property” in the Memorandum of the District Rate, the Chairman said it looked as if there were still some houses to be let in Rushden.

The report was adopted.

Health and Sanitary Committee

A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 2nd November, 1910, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), F. Knight, J. Spencer, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported that no case of infectious diseases had been notified during the past month.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting 39 informal and two statutory notices had been issued calling the attention to nuisances, &c. the smoke test had been applied to the drainage of three properties and the defects discovered made good.

A book belonging to the Free Library having been found in a house in which a case of diphtheria had occurred had been destroyed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the book.

An application for registration as a cow-keeper had been received from Mr. Thomas Dickens, Court Estate, and his name placed on the register.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his inspections, &c., made during the month.

Petroleum Acts

An application was received from Mr. Arthur Okins for a licence to keep and sell carbide of calcium in 1lb. air-tight tins at his premises in Church-street. It was resolved to recommend the Council to grant same, to expire on the 31st December next.

Sewage Disposal Works

The Surveyor reported the receipt of a letter from the County Medical Officer of Health, inquiring what progress the Council were making with regard to providing improved methods of dealing with the sewage at the outfall works, and stated that he had in reply informed Dr. Paget that the Council were visiting other works in various parts of the country with a view to obtaining information as to the most up-to-date systems and that it was expected the Council would now shortly be in a position to submit a scheme for the approval of the Local Government Board.

The Surveyor was instructed to prepare a scheme and estimate for planting with Austrian pines and poplars the west boundary of the works adjoining the railway.

The Surveyor was also instructed to have laid the hedge on the northern boundary of the works.

Sanitary Cart

The Surveyor reported that the sanitary cart at present in use was worn out and beyond repair.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to purchase a new one at a cost of £20.

Housing (Inspection of District) Regulations, 1910

The Regulations issued by the Local Government Board with regard to the Housing Town Planning, &c., Act (Inspection of District) were considered.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to give instructions to the Sanitary Inspector to make the necessary inspections under the direction and supervision of the Medical Officer of Health and that the same Officer under the like direction make a list of the dwelling houses in the district requiring early attention.

The Sanitary Inspector was instructed to obtain the books required for entering the records of his visits and inspections.

Mr. Claridge said he was pleased to know that the town was free from infectious diseases.

The report was adopted.

Licence

Mr. W. Smith applied for a game licence, which was granted.

Dangerous Bridge

Mr. Spencer said that some time ago the Council decided to write to the M.R. Co. pointing out that the bridge over the railway in Washbrook-road was a source of danger, the parapet being so low. Apparently nothing had been done, as he saw the children were still playing upon it. He was told the wall was a foot and a half lower than was the case with any other bridge in the county.

The Chairman: The Clerk informs me that the letter was sent to the Company, and they simply acknowledged the receipt of it.



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