Abbildungen der Seite

apparatus, and so I do not think it necessary to enter into a description of the plans by which this may be effected. I need only mention Mr. Pritchett's “miniature hot water apparatus,” if I may so call it, by means of which a single room may be warmed and ventilated. The water starts from a small boiler, the size of an ordinary kettle, which may be placed on a fire anywhere, or heated by a spirit lamp, and passes through a narrow space between double cylinders, the inner cylinders being used for the admission of fresh air, which is warmed in passing through them, or for the extraction of foul air. The water is made to pass through the extraction cylinders first, while it is hottest, and then through the others and back to the

cally, so that the air is admitted into the room in the proper direction. Other systems of artificial ventilation are suited for large public buildings, but are not adapted for use in dwellinghouses.

For the purpose of these lectures we must assume that it is necessary to have a sufficient supply of water that is fit to drink for all uses. The obvious characters of a good drinking water are that it is clear, transparent and colorless without taste (that is to say, neither salt nor sweet), and without smell, that it has no suspended particles in it, and produces no deposit on standing, and that it is aerated; but a water may possess all these characteristics and yet be unfit to drink, by reason of dissolved matters which cannot be detected except by chemical analysis, but the existence of which may often be suspected from a knowledge of the history of the water. Waters are commonly divided into hard waters and soft waters. Hard waters are those which contain a considerable quantity of mineral salts, especially salts of lime in solution ; soft waters those which contain much smaller quantities of these substances. Very hard waters are unfit for domestic purposes. A deposit of mineral matters takes place in the supply pipes, etc., and they get blocked up. Such very hard waters, too, are not desirable either for drinking or for domestic purposes generally. Moderately hard waters appear to be as wholesome as soft waters for drinking purposes. The Registrar-General has shown that the death-rate, in towns supplied with moderately hard water, does not differ sensibly from that of a series of towns supplied with soft water, but in other respects similar in their sanitary arrangements. Nevertheless, animals in their natural state prefer soft water to hard, and those who have the care of horses always give them soft water to drink if possible. An undoubted disadvantage that attends the use of hard water for domestic purposes consists in the enormous waste of soap that it entails. In order to wash with soap, it is necessary to produce lather. Now, the mineral salts in hard water decompose the soap, and form insoluble compounds, so that solution of the soap in water which will form a lather, does not take place until

the lime, etc., in the water has been deposited as insoluble lime soap, etc. Thus the more salts of lime and other mineral matters are present in the water, the more soap is wasted before the formation of a lather. This can be easily illustrated by a simple experiment. If we take a sample of distilled water, which contains no mineral matters in solution, and add a certain measure of an alcoholic solution of soap to it—when we shake the bottle in which it is, a lather is immediately produced and remains for some time; but when we take the same quantity of another sample of water, and add the soap solution to it, we find that it requires, in this instance, about twenty times as much of the solution to form a lather. (Experiment shown.) Soft water then, on the whole, must be preferred to hard for domestic purposes, and when the water is very hard it ought to be softened before being distributed. This may be done by Clark's process, which consists in adding milk of lime to the water as long as a precipitate is formed. The rationale of this is that most of the hard waters contain considerable quantities of carbonate of lime, which is held in solution in the water by the means of free carbonic acid. The lime added as milk of lime combines with the free car. bonic acid, forming more carbonate of lime, which, together with the carbonate previously in solution, is deposited, being almost entirely insoluble in water. As it is deposited, it carries down with it any suspended matters that may be in the water, and so leaves the water clearer and purer. A practical difficulty in the carrying out of this process, arising from the length of time required for the precipitate to subside, has been overcome by a process of filtration devised by Mr. Porter, and known as the “Porter-Clark process.” Water, after being distributed, may be softened to a considerable extent on a small scale by boiling, when the carbonic acid gas is thrown off, and the carbonate of lime deposited. It is this which causes the incrustation of boilers. The boiling also helps to purify the water

« ZurückWeiter »