[Page] 6

Peat in Water.
A notable characteristic also is the high per centage
of organic matter of vegetable origin which is found in
the water along the eastern slopes of the Lammermuirs.
Peat, in all probability, accounts for the presence of this
vegetable contamination. Heavy and continuous rains
must make such water undrinkable, but owing to the
complete drainage of these uplands, that can only
exist for a few hours, when it rapidly regains the
normal condition. The presence of peat in larger
amount, I know by observation, is likely to cause con-
siderable irritation of the stomach to some, but the
inhabitants drink it evidently with impunity. Filtering
through sand is the most reliable method for lessening
the amount in solution.

Methods of Water Supply.
In the Western District, generally, the water supply
to the villages and hamlets is by gravitation. Ormiston
and Pencaitland, in addition, have wells and pumps.
Dirleton, Elphingston, Gladsmuir, Gullane, East and
West Salton, and Samuelston have exclusively wells or
In the Eastern District, Stenton, Westbarns, Inner-
wick (partially), Oldhamstocks, and Whitekirk (par-
tially) have gravitation, while Spott and Tynninghame
have pumps or wells.

Procedure in regard to suspected Water Supply.
A systematic examination of all pumps and wells,
especially those supplying bakehouses and dairies, is
now being carried out, and where a rough test shows
some form of pollution, or where the chances of
contamination seem great, a complete analysis is made
by the County Analyst. I have made observations and
inquiries in all parts of the County, and have too often
seen surface drainage in dangerous proximity to the
water supply. Wells are able to drain the sur-
rounding areas from great distances.

Pollution of Wells.
At first the
soil checks any pollution from reaching the well, but in
time, like all filters, the earth becomes saturated with
organic impurities, and the cleansing of such becomes
almost an impossibility. In the case of a pump, which
supplied a bakehouse, the water was examined lately
by the County Analyst, and was found to be "dilute
sewage." The most probable cause was nearly 40
yards away.

[Page] 7

It must be remembered that every house must have
a proper water supply, and it can even be condemned
as insanitary if the supply is too great a distance.
With the possible exception of Gullane, no new special
Water Supply Districts seem necessary. The village of
Spott could be easily provided with a new supply, by
gravitation, at small expense.

LABOURERS' COTTAGES. (Housing of Working
Classes Act, 1890.)
Labourers' Cottages.
The cottages of the labouring classes are of a very
superior class throughout the County, and on most of
the large estates they reach a high standard of comfort
compared with those of other counties. The only
noticeable features likely to cause insanitary conditions
are the too frequent want of proper privies, the irregular
removal of the contents of ashpits, and the dangerous
contamination of shallow wells. Where the water is
generally so hard, the want of barrels for rain water
is specially noticeable. Gutters and rhones are too
often absent and badly kept, thus allowing the founda-
tions and the earth surrounding the house to get damp.
This condition is specially to be condemned where there
is a want of through ventilation beneath the floor, owing
to flags or bricks being simply laid on the ground with
or without a bed of lime.

Evil Effects of Damp Floors.
In houses that are already built, this cannot be
altered; but where new houses are being built, or
where old ones are being rebuilt, I would strongly urge
that a ventilated space of from 16 to 12 inches be pro-
vided beneath the flooring. Rheumatism must often be
induced in this way, and the tendency to tuberculosis
(consumption) enormously increased.
There are not a few instances of over-crowding, and
the decencies of life must be maintained with great
difficulty in a still larger number of cases.

New Dwellings.
In this connection I would impress upon owners
the advisability of having the opinion of the District
Medical Officer or Sanitary Inspector before under-
taking the building or the renewal of Dwellings.
Section 16 of the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1867,
will show what constitutes a "Nuisance," and it will be

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CorrieBuidhe- Moderator, Douglas Montgomery