SEWAGE DISPOSAL.

The Penrith Urban District Council on September 6 addressed to the Local Government Board a letter stating that at a meeting of the council it had been resolved:

"That, having regard to the difficulties of purchasing land for the disposal of the sewage on the principle of broad irrigation, the Local Government Board be respectfully requested to give the council their views as to the adaptability for Penrith of the septic system of sewage treatment, which is now receiving so much attention from sanitary reformers."

The clerk (MR. GEORGE WAINWRIGHT), in forwarding the resolution, stated that its terms "are not to be taken so as to affect the present position of the question as to the provisional order proceedings already taken, but any advice of the Board, which might lead to an easier arrangement to secure the means of the purification of the Penrith sewage would be considered of great advantage if received at an early date."

MR. ALFRED ADRIAN, the Assistant-Secretary of the Local Government Board, writing on September 30, stated that the Board "cannot undertake to advise the urban district council of Penrith as to whether the septic system of sewage treatment would be suitable for adoption in their district.  It may be stated, however, that the Board have had this method of treatment under consideration, and the main principle which has so far been established is that, if the septic system is adopted, it is necessary that the effluent from the tanks and filters should be subjected to further treatment on land, before being allowed to pass into a watercourse.

The Board have also come to the conclusion that the septic system can only be regarded as an experimental substitute for an ordinary process of chemical precipitation.  They would not, therefore, be prepared to entertain any proposal for the adoption of that system in connexion with a scheme of sewerage for the urban district unless provision were made in the scheme for the purification of the effluent from the tanks and filters on a sufficient area of land.

They would also require the urban district council to accept the entire responsibility for the experiment and to give an undertaking that, in the event of the process failing to give satisfactory results, they will adopt in its place some process of treating the sewage with chemicals combined with artificial filtration. "