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Engineers have always played an important role in the public health, and we thought it's appropriate today to share an article on this topic.
The 19th century has been called the “great sanitary awakening,” an era during which cities became more aware of the importance of sanitation and hygiene in combating the transmission of diseases such as cholera. In particular, the so-called Great Stink of 1858 helped drive the development of civil engineering. That summer, London—the largest city in the world at the time—reached an environmental tipping point at which “large quantities of sewage combined with a particularly hot summer created a perfect storm of rubbish, stink, and death,” wrote Steven C. Chapra, Ph.D., F.AEESP, F.ASCE, a professor emeritus and the Louis Berger Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts (“Rubbish, Stink, and Death: The Historical Evolution, Present State, and Future Direction of Water-Quality Management and Modeling,” Environmental Engineering Research, September 2011).
To read the full article originally published in Civil Engineering magazine, please click here.