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churning the slaked lime with the irony water at the
moment of its addition. I have specially laid stress
on the words freshly slaked, for slaked lime rapidly
becomes carbonated from exposure to the air.

In suggesting a way of preventing pollution of the
Almond from ironstone water, I would then point out
that for the pumped water, which, from its quantity,
is the only difficult one to cope with, a well-arranged
system of settling tanks, with means of thoroughly
mixing freshly and properly prepared slaked lime
with the water would effectively secure the desired
end. Cleansing of such tanks would require careful
attention, and the removal of the enormous quantity
of sludge, much labour. The bing water can be
collected by well planned drains, and similarly
treated. Its very small quantity offers no difficulty.

I am thus of opinion that by using the means above
indicated this pollution of the Almond by irony
water, and which ranks about first of all its pollutions,
can undoubtedly be wholly prevented, and dealt with
in a thoroughly satisfactory manner.

There still remains the question:- Is this means of
prevention in the meaning of the 'Rivers Pollution
Act' a means that can be considered a practicable
and reasonably available one? I do not know how
ironstone mining pays in this district, but I fear that,
were efficient measures to be employed in purifying
the pumped water from these ironstone workings, all
profits would at once disappear. If this be so, the
process proposed cannot be said to be a practicable
one as far as the owners of these pits are concerned.
But considering the works are so very few - some
three pits altogether now being carried on - is it not
worth the while of the riparian proprietors below

[Page] 27

these pumpings to aid the ironstone masters in
getting rid of a pollution which poisons the stream
from its fountain-head to its exit at the sea, and
spoils the amenity of the whole district through
which it flows?"

Since the above Report was sent in I have
ascertained that mining for ironstone has been
given up, and that these pits from which the
polluting iron water comes are worked simply
for the coal they contain, one being used as a
pumping station only. It is thus the one industry
- coal mining - that would be slightly interfered
with should these pits cease operations. The
Joint Committee of the Districts of the Counties
interested are now taking advice of Counsel, so
as to be fully satisfied of the extent of their
powers, and upon receipt of which some definite
line of action may be expected to follow.

Dwelling-houses : Their condition might be slowly made satisfactory by acquiring Legislative Powers.
With regard to the Sanitary condition of
Dwelling-houses, I have the same suggestion to
make as that given in my reports for the other
Counties of Mid-Lothian and Peebles, namely,
that to secure healthy houses such legislative
powers are necessary as shall enable Local
Authorities to prohibit occupation of all houses
erected after a certain date until they are certi-
fied to the Local Authority as being properly
drained, substantially built, and with the requi-
site conveniences of an approved kind. This is the
only way, though a very slow one, of ultimately
having our dwelling-houses as they should be.

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