Rideal, Samuel

Sewage and the Bacterial Purification of Sewage

  • The uncommon first edition of this comprehensive book on sewage treatment which focuses on natural, bacterial methods.

    Author Samuel Rideal (1863-1929) was a prominent analytical and consulting chemist who did significant work on water purification and disinfection. He wrote several books on the subject, including his most well-known, Disinfection and the Preservation of Food (1903). Biological treatment of sewage had first been explored in the UK during the 1870s, when Edward Frankland showed the efficacy of filtering sewage through gravel beds where it decomposed, a technique that was increasingly taken up during the 1880s and 90s. When this volume was published in 1900, the concept of natural sewage treatment was still developing, and modern sewage treatment options were being investigated by the Royal Commission on Sewage Disposal, which by 1912 would set international standards for sewage capture and treatment. In this volume, possibly published to coincide with the Royal Commission’s investigation, Rideal analyses all aspects of historic and contemporary waste systems and the feasibility of new types of natural and artificial treatments, including traps and filters, as well as chemical sterilisation. The science of bacterial sewage decomposition is analysed in great detail over four chapters, including brief a history of the technique.

  • London: Robert Ingram, 1900.

    Octavo. Original red cloth, title to spine gilt. Single leaf of ads at the front, 5 leaves of ads for sewage treatment technologies at rear. 4 plates, illustrations and charts within the text. Publisher’s notice on the illustrations tipped-in on the half title. Cambridge University Department of Pathology library stamps to the front endpapers and head of the title, 3 old library shelf number tickets to the spine. Spine rolled, cloth worn at the extremities with a short closed tear at the tail of the spine, free endpapers toned, some light toning in the margins. Very good condition.

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