Newcomen Society - “The History of Water” by Dr. Jenny Stephenson

22nd November 2021 6:30 pm

Water, an essential ingredient for life, has a fascinating and rather turbulent history. It has certainly been a force for good as well as evil: too much, too little, clean or dirty, as illustrated in this talk. In the early years, the industrial town of Sheffield expanded quickly and became victim to severe overcrowding, putting pressure on the supplies of drinking water and general cleanliness, with the terrible consequences of cholera, typhoid, smallpox, high infant mortality rates to name but a few. It took 22 years for Sheffield’s leaders to respond to the situation following a survey report of 1847, by digging sewers and building further reservoirs. As well as this timeline, the talk will cover the history of the toilet, and that of our local fifteen reservoirs. The talk will briefly cover the issues of sustainability and concerns for the environment, including the part we ourselves can play in this.

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