An important investigation undertaken by the Bacterioscopical Laboratory, with regard to the pollution of the Venetian canals by the city sewage, led to the discovery that the water of the lagoons possesses auto-purifying power, not only in the large canals but even in the smallest ramifications of the waterways.
Above the intakes of the water companies (at Hampton or in the vicinity), the Thames Conservancy has enforced the requirements of parliament that no sewage or other pollution shall be allowed to pass into the Thames, into its tributary streams, or even into any water communicating with them.
It was instituted in 165 B.C. in commemoration of, and thanksgiving for, the purification of the temple at Jerusalem on this day by Judas Maccabaeus after its pollution by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, who in 168 B.C. set up a pagan altar to Zeus Olympius.
The energy with which Ulysses, after the slaughter of the suitors, calls to Euryclea for "fire and sulphur" to purge (literally "fumigate") the dininghall from the pollution of their blood (Od.
The estimated cost was between three and four millions sterling, to be met by a toll, and it was urged that a uniform depth, independent of tides, would be ensured above the dam, that delay of large vessels wishing to proceed up river would thus be obviated, that the river would be relieved of pollution by the tides, and the necessity for constant dredging would be abolished.