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Seattle ordinance requires residences to attach to sewer lines in 1885.
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In 1885, a Seattle ordinance is passed requiring that inhabited property be attached to sewer lines. This is Ordinance No 696 dated December 5, 1885. Henry Yesler (1810-1892) is mayor. Awareness of sanitation and the importance of sewage disposal has been growing in the world since 1854 when a cholera epidemic in London, England, claimed more than 10,000 lives, and spurred a frenzy of sewer construction.
In Seattle in 1885, a great many residences had no sewer lines to attach to. In 1892, City Engineer R. H. Thomson (1856-1949) recommended the construction of 50 miles of sewers to ward off a threat of cholera on the West Coast. At this time, half the Seattle population (three-fourths of the city in terms of area) were without sewers.
Myra L. Phelps, Public Works in Seattle: A Narrative History of the Engineering Department, 1875-1975 (Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department, 1978), 198-199.
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