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THE next subject to be considered is that of 'Sanitary appliances,' such, e.g., as closets and receptacles for house refuse.

provided with

earth closet, or

Houses must be The 36th Section of P.H., 1875, places a distinct
proper water, duty on every local authority to require, on the
report of their surveyor or inspector of nuisances,
the owner or occupier of any house within their
district destitute of 'a sufficient water-closet, earth-
closet, or privy,1 and an ashpit furnished with proper
doors and coverings,' by written notice, to provide
the same.
It is not in all cases necessary to pro-
vide separate closet accommodation for each house,
e.g., in cottage property the accommodation may be
common to several houses. There is, however, no

1 Middens and Privies.-The model bye-laws provide that a privy must be 6 feet from any dwelling, and 40 or 50 feet away from any well, spring, or stream; means of access must be provided for the scavenger, so that he need not go through a dwelling; the privy must be roofed to keep out rain, and ventilated; the floor of the privy must be not less than 6 inches above the level of adjoining ground, flagged or paved with hard tiles, and have an inclination towards the door of the privy of 5 inch to the foot; capacity of receptacle not to exceed 8 cubic feet; floor of the receptacle must be in every part at least 3 inches above the level of the adjoining ground, the sides and floors to be constructed of impermeable materials; they may be flagged, or asphalted, or constructed of 9-inch brickwork set in cement; the seat must be hinged, or other means of access must be provided; the receptacle must not communicate with any drain or sewer.

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express permission to adopt the same system with regard to ashpits. In all cases the local authority is the sole judge of the accommodation. The meaning of the term Ashpit is defined by Section 11 (1) of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act :

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The expression "ashpit," in the Public Health Acts, and in What the term this Act, shall, for the purposes of the execution of those Acts, means? 'ashpit' and of this Act, include any ashtub or other receptacle for the deposit of ashes, fæcal matter, or refuse.'

If the notice of the authority is not complied with, the local authority may do the work themselves, and recover in a summary manner from the owner the expenses, or declare the same to be private improvement expenses.



From the leading case of Tinkler v. The Wands- Tinkler v. worth Board of Works, decided on the correspond- Board of ing section of the Metropolis Local Management Act (18 and 19 Vict. c. 120), it is clear that a local authority has no power to give a general order, as, for example, that every privy shall be converted into a water-closet, each case must be considered and dealt with separately; when, however, the local authority have once determined that the existing accommodation is insufficient, then they have it in their power to order what works they please.


In the case of Sherborne Local Board v. Bogle, A water-closet flushed by hand 46 J.P. 675, the defendant was the owner of is an insuffiseveral houses, and the closets were flushed by the local hand, pails of water being thrown down from time decide.

cient closet' if

authority so


to time. The Local Board, on the report of their Surveyor, considered the closet to be insufficient, and required flushing cisterns. On failure to comply, the Local Board executed the necessary works, and proceeded to recover the expenses from Bogle. It was held, on appeal, that the Justices were right in refusing to hear evidence as to the necessity of the works done by the Board; it was for the Local Board to determine, on the report of their Surveyor, whether the water-closets were sufficient, subject only to the right of appeal to the Local Government Board, under P.H., Section 268, and the duty of the Justices in enforcing payment was only ministerial. In the course of his judgment, Lush J. said, 'I do not say that there may not be many waterclosets in certain localities, and under certain circumstances, which would be sufficient without a flushing apparatus by way of cistern, or otherwise; but, on the other hand, it is quite obvious that there may be a water-closet which, under other circumstances, though a water-closet, is not sufficient, and it is for the Local Board to form their opinion. They know the locality, and the condition of the house and the neighbourhood, and it is for them to form a judgment whether the report represents the water-closets as being inefficient for the purposes of the Act. It is quite clear that the Local Board took that view, because, immediately upon this, they gave a notice, resting upon the report of their Surveyor, that the water-closets were insufficient. If that be so, I think it is quite enough to justify

them in forming their opinion on the matter; therefore we have no authority to interfere.'

In districts in which there is much small property, and many public sanitary conveniences common to more than one house, sanitary authorities will find it convenient to adopt the 21st Section The 21st Secof the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1890, Health Acts which provides a penalty of 10s., or less, on any person convicted of injuring or improperly fouling any such convenience, besides which

tion of Public



'If any sanitary convenience, or the approach thereto, or the walls, floors, seats, or fittings thereto '

are in a filthy state, the person who is in default, or, if he cannot be found, each of those using the convenience in common, is to be liable to a penalty not exceeding 10s., and a daily penalty of 5s., or less.

water supply.

It not unfrequently happens that an Inspector on Closets without his rounds finds closets destitute of water supply, yet perfectly clean and well kept, nevertheless, if the authority be of opinion, on the report of the Inspector, that the fact of the closet not being provided with a flushing cistern and a water supply renders it 'insufficient,' they can order the necessary alterations to be made. If, again, the closet is directly connected with the cistern, such an arrangement may be considered likely to injure health, and therefore a nuisance,' or it may be dealt with under the powers conferred by the Waterworks Clauses Act, 1863 (see ante, p. 46).

Water or other closets to new buildings.


Cellar-dwellings must have closet accommodation.

Closet accomnmodation for factories.

Under the 35th Section of the Public Health Act, 1875, any person who erects or rebuilds a house pulled down to the ground floor, or below it, without a sufficient water-closet, earth-closet, or privy, and an ashpit furnished with proper doors and coverings, is liable to a penalty of £20, or less.

Section 37 gives ample facilities to local authorities, not only to be satisfied with earth-closets in place of water-closets, should they prefer the dry system, but also gives them facilities and powers for undertaking the supply of dry earth, or for contracting with other persons to supply dry earth.

Under Section 72, a cellar-dwelling cannot be legally occupied unless there is appurtenant thereto the use of a water-closet, earth-closet, privy, or ashpit, furnished with proper doors and coverings.'


There is also a series of provisions with regard to proper accommodation for factories, thus, by P.H., 1875, sect. 38, the local authority may, if they find on the report of their Surveyor that any factory or building, in which persons of both sexes are employed in any manufacture, trade, or business, has insufficient closet accommodation, give written notice to construct a sufficient number of water-closets, earthclosets, or privies and ashpits, for the separate use of each sex. Penalty for default £20, or less, and further penalty for continuing offence of 40s. per day, or less. This same section is made applicable by the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887, sect. 74, to the portions of a mine above ground, and in which girls and women are employed.

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