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The Ghost Map

Author(s): Gregory Vogt, Ed.D.

London's Water System

There were few public services in the district. Drinking water was drawn from the Thames River and distributed by a system of pipes running beneath the streets. At scattered locations, water lines were tapped with hand pumps that all citizens shared. Running next to the water lines were other pipes for sewage. Many of these pipes were cracked or broken and waste flowed out on to the streets.

What waste water that made it through the sewer lines poured directly into the Thames River, in some cases up stream from the drinking water intake pipes. On every street, human and animal waste ran freely along the curbs. 

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