Early-mid-century sanitary engineers oversaw the transformation of space and nature in North American cities through the planning and construction of sewerage and drainage networks.
5) This anti-pollution strategy is captured in the concept of assimilative capacity, a term developed by chemists and sanitary engineers during this period to describe the ability of natural waters to absorb, dilute, and disperse wastes.
8) Sanitary engineers adopted the rhetoric and ideas of conservation to promote assimilative capacity as the rational basis for pollution control and urban planning.
12) Thus, an examination of the methods and ideas of sanitary engineers also contributes to our understanding of scientific conservation, emphasizing the way in which quantitative representations of nature and utilitarian ideology were combined to frame environmental problems and their solutions.
15) Like many other North American cities around the turn of the twentieth century, the growing city of Vancouver looked to sanitary engineers for solutions to the problems of waste disposal and disease control.
English sanitary engineers and chemists, who were engaged in highly politicized pollution debates during the latter half of the nineteenth century, began to investigate and refine long-standing notions of water's "self-purifying agencies.
While the BOD test could be seen as imposing biophysical limits on the use of dilution as a waste-disposal strategy, Phelps and other sanitary engineers typically regarded it as the measurement of a kind of natural resource.
As Kehoe points out, the sanitary engineers responsible for this system accomplished their primary goal.
Pushed by public opinion, activist governors, and an environmentalist Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall, the sanitary engineers who continued to dominate the state and interstate regulatory systems began to acknowledge the threats to water quality posed by such problems as the phosphate pollution responsible for rampant lake eutrophication, thermal pollution from electric and nuclear power plants, and pesticides and other toxic waste.
Kehoe does not blame the sanitary engineers for all the problems with regulation during this period.
He finds that while the old scientific generalists, particularly doctors, wanted to clean wastes before dumping, the new scientific specialists, particularly the sanitary engineers who were trained in biology, chemistry, and engineering, argued that a cost benefit analysis suggested that filtering the water before use would be more efficient.
Tarr notes that the new professional scientific experts, the sanitary engineers, opposed the general treatment of sewage as not cost efficient.