Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

sewage - Etymology

sewers farm water

Waste matter, especially human excrement, carried away from houses by special conduits (sewers). The use of water-borne sewage disposal became established in the 1870s, the sewers being linked either directly to the sea through an outfall, if a suitable one was available, or to a sewage farm. A sewage farm uses beds of sand to grow and support a gelatinous bacterial film which develops as the true filter, removing almost all solids. Other precipitation treatments remove substances in solution, to allow the effluent water to be reused for drinking, if need be.

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