“What is there to learn from our Victorian ancestors that will assist us in the next cycle of the AMP?”
Used daily by its 64 million residents the UK’s sewerage infrastructure is indebted to three people – a physicist, a clergyman and an engineer. It was the foresight and determination of DR John Snow, reverend Henry Whitehead and engineer Joseph Bazalgette who collaborated and linked cholera to the water supplies and designed a super sewer that, in the grand scheme of things, was seen as a major pioneering development of the 19th century.
However, it wasn’t until the hot summer of 1858 that Parliament finally, under much pressure, gave Bazalgette the green light to begin the development of his sewer network. Originally proposed two years earlier, the pivotal point in accepting Bazalgette’s sewage plan was the ‘Big Stink’ of the Thames and its pungent smells hitting the aristocratic gents and Lords of Parliament who would otherwise be enjoying a lovely summer’s evening out on the terraces at Westminster.
The full story of how Joseph Bazalgette brought his project to fruition features in a BBC book by Deborah Cadbury, “The Seven wonders of the Industrial World”, priced at £10.99 you can order your copy using this link with proceeds going direct to Water Aid.