Sanitary Condition of Dyserth, Meliden, and Towyn. LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD INSPECTOR'S REPORT. CONDEMNATIONS & SUGGESTIONS. Drainage of Dyserth Demanded. L THE MELIDEN CONUNDRUM. r Annexation Proposals for 7ozvyn-Prestatyn. For some time past the sanitary condition of the growing villages of Meliden and Dyserth has occupied the attention of the local authorities. An adverse report by the Medical Officer of Health for the District had been the cause of an appeal being made to the Local Govern- ment Board to send an inspector for the purpose of inquiring into the real condition of the district from a sanitary point of view. The Local Government Board acceded to the request, and Dr. W. W. E. Fletcher, one of the Board's medical staff, was instructed to visit and inspect the district. The inquiry commenced in Feb- ruary last, and in its scope was included the whole of the St. Asaph (Flintshire) and the St. Asaph (Denbighshire) Rural Districts. The locality known as Towyn, Pres- tatyn, being under the jurisdiction of the St. Asaph Council, was also included in the inquiry. Dr. Fletcher investigated all the points on which there was a difference of opinion between the local Medical Officer and the Councils concerned, and also made a sanitary survey of the whole district. Much public interest was awakened at the time of the enquiry, and the inspector's report which in effect was to form either a justification or a condemna- tion of the Rural Councils, was awaited with some trepidation. The report has just been pub- lished. It consists of seventeen closely-printed folio pages, and gives in detail the inspector's opinions regarding the sanitary condition of the district. The report upholds in every res- pect the attitude of the local medical officer, and goes so far as to recommend an increase in his salary. It admonishes the two Councils to pay greater attention to their duties, and calls upon the St Asaph Council to provide proper drainage for Meliden and for Towyn Prestatyn. Regarding the latter, the report suggests the transfer of this portion of Meliden to the Pres- tatyn Urban District, so as to solve the sewerage problem. It also advises that steps be taken to pro- vide Dyserth with proper sewerage. The extension of the water-supply in these districts is likewise recommended, as is also a scaven- ging system for Dyserth. ♦
Details of the Report. Dr. Fletcher's report to the Local Government Board upon the sanit- ary circumstances and administra- tion of the St. Asaph Rural District commences with a brief history of the controversy which led to his visit of inspection. In describing the general features and sanitary circumstances of por- tions of the district, Dr. Fletcher says under the head of water supplies:— Dyserth village comprises a lower por- tion Dyserth proper, and an upper portion which practically unites the lower portion with a residential portion named Ochr-y-Foel. Water is supplied from the Prestatyn Urban District Waterworks, but not universally." Meliden village is supplied by the Pres- tatyn Waterworks, as also is a developing part of the parish which is practically con- tinuous with a portion of Prestatyn Urban District, and which is known as Towyn Pres- tatyn. There are, however, at Towyn Prestatyn certain villa and bungalow residences not supplied with Prestatyn water, but dependent upon shallow wells or other doubtful sources of supply. Regarding the sewerage of Meliden the report states that— "Melidcn. In 1890 a loan of £ 2,700 was raised for the sewerage of the parish, and in the following year it further loan of £ 2,000 was raised for the same purpose. These sums were expended mainly in that part of the parish which was formed into the Urban Dis- trict of Prestatyn in 1896. The old village of Meliden is in the Rural District, and only a part of the upper portion is sewered. The outfall sewer discharges into a settling tank whence the sewage passes on to land where it is used fcr irrigation purposes. After giving much information repecting house accommodation, and drawing attention to the exist- ence of nuisances of various kinds and degrees, the report compares the present sanitary situation with that of a quarter of a century ago, when Dr. H. F. Parsons made a similar report. It is desirable to add some special remarks dealing with certain of the places inspected by me. Dyserth, lihuddlan, and St. Asaph are places concerning which there are differences of opinion between the District Council and the Medical Officer of Health. These places were described by Dr. Parsons in his report, and it appears to me that it would be well to give Dr. Parson's descriptions of the condi- tions twenty-six years ago in his own words, and then to indicate how far the descriptions are applicable to-day." Dr Parsons reported :— Dyserth is situated on the limestone hills east of Rhuddlan. A stream rising at Ffynuon Asaph runs through the village, forming a cascade in its descent from a higher to a lower level. The greater part of this stream is ordinarily diverted to supply water power to Talargoch lead mines, but when its volume is swollen by rain it some- times floods the lower part of the village. There is no drainage slops are frequently thrown into the road gutters. The water supply is scanty and difficult of access that of the part of the village called Ochr- y-foel is drawn from the stream some quarter mile distant, and has to be carried up a steep hill. In the remainder of the village the chief source of supply for drink- ing is a dip-well by the roadside, close to the gutter and under a garden, Some pig- stye and privy nuisanses were met with.' It has been pointed out that Dyserth, generally, is now supplied with water from Prestatyn water-works. Apart from this the description of the village given above applies very fairly to day. The dip-well is still in use and supplies water to a number of houses, entailing the labour of carrying it up a steep hill, whereas the houses in question might very well be supplied from the neighbouring Prestatyn water-main as advocated, in vain, by the Medical Officer of Health. The village is still without any sewerage system, and slop water is thrown into the road gutters. During recent years many bungalows and villas have been erected at Ochr-y-foel, and, in the absence of sewers, owners have to pro- vide drains discharging into cesspools. Most of these dwellings are provided with water- closets, and the Medical Officer of Health has very properly pointed out the desirability of providing a proper sewerage scheme instead of allowing the ground to become extensively polluted by numerous cesspools. The Councill, however, appear to consider that the time is not yet ripe for taking the opinion and recommendation of the Medical Officer of Health a sewerage scheme is called for which shall embrace both lower and upper Dyserth and Ochr-y-foel. Moreover, provision of ample water supply and of sewerage would be likely to induce more building operations. In the village, generally, excrement disposal is by means of privies, water-closets being provided usually for only the better class of residences." The following parapraph gives 0 the result of the Inspector's investi- gations into the present state of Meliden and Towya Prestatyn. "Meliden.—This parish was not specially dealt with in Dr Parsons's report. On page 3 of this report it was stated to be supplied, generally, with water from the Prestatyn Waterworks. The main should, however, be extended so as to supply those houses at Towyn Prestatyn which are at present un- supplied. As regards sewerage, only the upper part of the village is provided with sewers. The main outfall sewer discharges into a settling tank, whence the effluent passes on to land for broad irrigation. The amount of sewage to be disposed of is not large, but recently it was found necessary to increase the irrigated area to a total space of one acre. The lower part of Meliden re- quires sewerage, and nuisances from want of drainage on a proper system exist. Thus, at the back of the school there is a nuisance at the outfall of a drain conveying sewage, including that of a water-closet, from a grocer's shop and dwelling (next to the Miner's Arms Inn) and there is also nuisance arising from absence of proper drainage at houses known as "TaICochion." Towyn Prestatyn has already been referred to as a part of Meliden continuous with the Prestatyn Urban District. It is a developing portion of the parish, and there some sixty bungalows and villa residences have been erected. They are at present, in the absence of sewers, drained to cesspools. Twenty-nine of them are the property of a builder, who is desirous of a properly constructed sewerage system. He has considered a scheme for the old village and Towyn, and estimates the cost at £ 10,000, the expense being greatly increased through the necessity of the sewer having to cnxss a valley between the old village and Towyn. Since the rateable value of the whole parish is only £ 3,254 it would appear that such a scheme is out of the question, and it would probably be better to transfer Towyn Prestatyn to Prestatyn Urban District, so that the two places could be drained together as part of one scheme. This plan was suggested by the Medical Officer of Health some years ago, but is not acceptable to the District Council because they would lose the rates on a length of the London and North-Western Railway Company's Chester to Holyhead main line. If this course were followed the lower part of the old village would remain to be properly sewered by the St. Asaph (Flint) Rural District Council, and this work should present no great difficulty. In the Towyn Prestatyn portion most of the houses are provided with water-closets, as also are a number of dwellings in the upper part of the old village. For the rest excre- ment disposal is mostly by means of privies, and excremental nuisance and dilapidated privies may be found, e.g., at Tai Cochion." Commenting on the sanitary administration of the districts, the Inspector again quotes Dr. Parsons, who gives a favorable opinion of the capabilities of Dr. Lloyd Roberts. This latter gentleman was then, as now, local medical officer. Having spent several days in Dr. Lloyd Roberts's company while inspecting the rural districts, I am able to confirm Dr Parsons's estimate of this officer's capabilities. His reports evince honesty and fearlessness in commenting on matters requiring attention, and in pressing for action to be taken. Although he has held office for nearly thirty- five years Dr Lloyd Roberts is only a little beyond 60 years of age, and is still active and able to perform his duties efficiently. He recieves a salary ofj632 a year, half of which is repaid by the County Council. He also holds office as Medical Officer of the St. Asaph, Denbighshire, Rural district, and of the Prestatyn and Abergele-with Pensarn Urban Districts, and he is engaged in private practice. He now resides at Colwyn Bay. The Inspector of Nuisances.— Mr Edward Owen Evans, was appointed about five years ago, and receives a salary of J673 a year, half of which is repaid by the County Coun- cil. He also holds office as Surveyor under the Health Act, 1875, at an annual salary of £ 18. He is a part-time officer in this district, inasmuch as he holds the corresponding offices in the St. Asaph, Denbighshire, Rural District. He holds a certificate from the Royal Sanitary Institute. He is active, and, in addition to train service, makes use of a bicycle for traversing his district. More energetic action on his part is required not only in the way of securing abatement of many existing nuisances, but also in the way of dealing effectively with nuisances of the recurring order, and more frequent super- vision of slaughterhouses, bakehouses, and dairies coweheds and milkshops is very desirable. The Surveyor of Roads is Mr John Lloyd. He. receives a salary ofjEUSa year, and has 81 miles of district roads to supervise. There are also in the district 22 miles of main roads which are kept in order by the County Council of Flint. In conclusion, Dr. Fletcher gives the Rural Councils credit for many improvements which have been effected, but states that he cannot say that the sanitary administration is satisfactory. He is convinced that the districts have not been so well looked after during recent years as they were formerly. As an instance he mentions the lack of available and wholesome water supplies for certain parts of Meliden (namely, Towyn Prestatyn). As regards the particular point at issue between the St. Asaph (Flint) Rural District Council and Dr. Lloyd Roberts, the latter would have been failing in his duty if he had refrained from pointing out defects as to which he considered action was necessary on the part of the Council, and from repeating his advice from time to time, seeing that the Council did not respond. Moreover, he was bound to mention these facts in his Annual Reports, and was correct in his attitude in refusing to edit his last annual report, and in sending the report to the Board in the form in which it was submitted to the Council. Finally, a list of recommendations is addressed to the two Councils. "1. Both of these Councils should take into consideration the question of the forma- tion of a sufficiently large combination of neighbouring districts to engage the whole- time services of a Medical Officer of Health, and to afford him adequate remuneration for the efficient discharge of his duties. In the meantime they should increase Dr. Lloyd Roberts's salaries to such an extent as would justify expectation of performance of his duties in accordance with the Board's Order of March 23rd, 1891, and they should extend the periods of his appointments to a term of years, or make them permanent. 2. Both Councils should take into con- sideration the question of providing a properly equipped isolation hospital for ordinary infec- tious diseases, either each Council a hospital for its own district, or a joint hospital in combination with adjoining districts. 3. Both Councils should insist on the necessary improvements in bakehouses, in slaughterhouses, and in cowsheds and they should see that these places be kept under much stricter supervision than they have been in the past. 4. Both Councils should take more energetic action to abate the numerous existing nuisances, from whatever cause arising and, as regards recurrent nuisances, should secure not merely temporary abatement, but a permanent abatement by means of the execution of such structural work as may be necessary." n_. "5. Both Councils should, generally throughout their districts, pay greater atten- tion to their duties under section 62 of the Public Health Act, 1875, and under the Public Health (Water) Act, 1878." Recommendation No. 6 is for the the St. Asaph Council alone. 6. The Council should extend the water supply in Meliden so as to include the dwellings of Towyn Prestatyn which are at present without proper supplies and should extend the sewerage scheme so as to provide proper drainage for the whole of Meliden village and for Towyn Prestatyn. As regards Towyn Prestatyn they might consider the advisability of entering upon negotiations for the transfer of that portion of Meliden to the Prestatyn Urban District; or, without such transfer, they might enter into an agreement for the reception of Towyn Prestatyn sewage into the Prestatyn sewers. They should also extend the water-supply in Dyserth to all houses within reach of the water-main, which have not within reasonable distance a sufficient supply of wholesome water, and they should consult a competent engineer with a view to providing Dyserth with sewerage."
If you sre buying new boots, oil well all over before wearing them. They will last longer and keep out the damp. One small onion eaten at night will often induce sleep, as onions have a particularly sooth- ing effect upon the nerves. Cream or milk that has turned but is not soured may be made sweet by stirring into it one teaspoonful of carbonate of magnesia to each quart of milk.
A FERNERY. A damp and shady corner in the garden where flowering plants will always prove a failure may be easily adapted to form a rockery, where ferns and mosses will cover the bare space with grace- ful greenery. There are upwards of fiftv different species of British ferns, with a very large num- ber of their own variations: from amongst these a goodly collection may be made, the search for which will afford considerable interest to country rambles and expeditions.
A WRINKLE TO MILK USERS. A Yorkshire correspondent writes: Might I give the careful public a hint as to keeping milk and also how to get a drop of cream for tea* Always keep two basins for your milk one larger than the other. Get your milk if possible before it has had time to cool, and put it in the s -a)) basin, place the basin of milk within the Inr.e basin, and surround with cold water. Keep in a cor) p:c^. So treated, milk will keep any reasonable time. If it does not, get a fresh milk- man at once.
TO WHITEN DIi-'COLOURED TEETH. If there are solid masses of tartar it will be necessary to have the teeth "scaled" bv a dentist. But for mere staining of the teeth, say. II"me A otis, the following will serve: Purchase 8 small quantity of sodium peroxide. Mix one t"aspoonful of the chemical with one teaspoon- fid of water. At once dip into this a pad of whito linen, and rub over the discoloured parts; t.ien rinse the mouth. By mixinc; a teaspoonful or the peroxide with half a tumbler? id of water oim has a solution that will purify offensive s< imps. It may be used as a rinse, or with a '•t'l-brush. The s. real thing to not? is that in either case that is. whether applied to dis- coloured teeth or as a wash for ti)c month the preparation should be used immediately after t;; having been made.
FURNITURE HINTS. Uot dishes pre apt to make white marks on a polished table. These can be removed by putting hot coals in a shovel and holding it over the spots, and when warm rub the spots thoroughly with a soft piece of tlannH. For those who with to darken light oak furni- ture, a rood stain can be made from the thick outer i.-rr n sk.ii of. walnuts. A furniture polish easily made at home con. sists of raw linseed oil and turpentine in the pro. portion of two parts to one. Shake this mix- ture well, and apply to the furniture in the usual way.
A GROUP OF USEFUL HINTS. To keep preserves from becoming mouldy put a few drops of glycerine round the edge of file jar bofojo fastening down the covers. To purify water f i.it for some reason or other cannot be filtered stir in a t ibi(-.spoonful of alum to a hogshead of water. This will precipitate the impurities to the bottom. Always have a supply of powdered charcoal handy in oa-e of a burn. Spread thickly on the burn; it wid ahevi^te the pain, and it has been known to heal a slight burn in less than an hour. An apple poultice is an excellent thing in many cases of weak and inflated eyes. Either the pulp of a rotten apple may be used, or that of a cold roasted apple.
AN UNGRACEFUL HABIT. Swinging the arms like a windmill does not add to ones appearance of grace, and what is Dlore, it does not help in walking. The girl who strides along like an overgrown schoolboy imagines her arm movements accelerate her pace; but. they do nothing of the kind. As a fu,e jerking and swinging does not even keep tune with tlie steps, but just throws out the rhythmic motion of the body as a whole. To svun.r the arms when walking is an uglv habit which should be avoided by those who do not practise it, and overcome by those who do Tnere is no need to revert to the old-fashioned methods, whrn consisted in holding the hands clasped. usmMly rather primly, in front of her. i-j.ii s roP *s Mature intended, moving a little naturally, with the movement of the body, and keeping the shoulders steady. ,Jj.ho T'% ^Y fig!U'e .in the «'orld would ook ugly ranked by .swinging arms, and these would spoil the daintiest and prettiest method of walking.