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David Eugene Smith's A Source Book in Mathematics: v. 2 PDF

By David Eugene Smith

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Sample text

Communities that are distant from sparsely inhabited mountains are forced either to draw water of lesser purity from rivers or to tap 33 subterranean water flows with wells. Originally, wells were dug by hand, the digger lining the deepening shaft with stones or bricks to prevent cave-ins. It was a dirty, dangerous occupation. Wells today are drilled by heavy, truck-mounted equipment that can grind its way even through solid granite to depths of hundreds of feet if necessary to find a water-bearing stratum in the earth.

It is not uncommon for a potential building site to prove incapable of accommodating a septic system and therefore to be incapable of supporting a building. 7 of leaching field, or the water in the ground is at so high a level that it would mingle with the effluent and become contaminated. In an effort to improve small sewage disposal systems, new devices are being introduced into the market each year. Some aim to improve the digestion of sewage in the tank through such expedients as aerating the sewage to encourage the more thorough digestive action of aerobic organisms.

Aerating the water helps rid it of gaseous pollutants and accelerates the breakdown of organic substances. Chemical precipitation is used to remove such contaminants as iron and lead compounds. Special filters may be necessary to remove hydrogen sulfide, radon, or other dissolved gases. Finally, if necessary, chlorine gas is dissolved in the water in controlled amounts to kill microorganisms. Purification systems that use these mechanisms are available at scales ranging from whole regions to individual houses.

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