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Sewers, Pollution, and Public Health in Philadelphia

Adam Levine
Pennsylvania Legacies
Vol. 10, No. 1 (May 2010), pp. 14-19
DOI: 10.5215/pennlega.10.1.14
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5215/pennlega.10.1.14
Page Count: 6
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Sewers, Pollution, and Public Health in Philadelphia
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Abstract

Abstract For about 100 years, from roughly the mid-19th to the mid-20th century, Philadelphia poured raw sewage into its two major rivers, the Delaware and the Schuylkill, which also served as the sources of the city's drinking water. Fouling one's own nest is something that even a bird knows not to do. Yet, Philadelphia had good company in this seemingly irrational behavior, since many of the world's most prosperous and populous cities did exactly the same thing.

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