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Sanitation, Diet, Disease, etc. 301
months of the year are almost rainless, render the flushing
of these water-ways a matter of extreme difficulty, and often
an impossibility. Where the configuration of the land permits,
attempts are often made to utilize streams and other sources
of water for the purpose, but a glance at a physical map of
India will show how in the extensive flat plains of the country
no such procedure is possible. Again, although much has
been, and is being, done to ensure efficient drainage of in-
habited sites, such efforts have up to the present time been
more especially directed to the carrying off of water from the
thoroughfares and streets. Small drains, it is true, connect
the dwellings with the larger channels, but inasmuch as the
inhabitants bathe at the public wells and tanks, and practically
only employ such water in their houses as is required for
drinking and cooking, little or no flow in these connecting
drains is usually observable. Few towns as yet in India pos-
sess a water-supply laid on in pipes to the houses.
In the villages and smaller centres of population water
finds its way more or less completely from the site through
small cuttings in the soil, or through a channel created natur-
ally by the heavy rainfall during the monsoon.
As regards water-supply, some of the larger towns and
cities, as Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Agra, and certain others,
are provided with a good supply laid on in pipes. But the
great majority of places have no such arrangements, and here
the water is taken from wells, rivers, springs, tanks, or lakes.
From both wells and rivers the water is usually more or less
impure, though superior to that from lakes and tanks. Spring
water when obtainable is, as might be expected, usually good.
Attempts to sink Artesian wells have succeeded in a few locali-
ties, but have more generally failed. Local authorities in the
larger centres have of late years succeeded in improving the
supply by such measures as keeping in repair the wells that
hold good water and closing those of which the contents are
impure, by remodelling tanks and preventing their pollution,

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