This Day in Norwood History- August 18

PURIFYING NEPONSET RIVER

One Large Tannery Has Withdrawn Its Sewage from the Water and Others Are Conducting Experiments

1885 Photo of the Winslow Brothers and Smith Tannery

18 Aug 1906, Sat Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, Massachusetts)

Under the operation of legislation as amended last year to eliminate the nuisance along Neponset River, good work Is now being done In the valley. There are probably half a hundred factories and other establishments along the river which have contributed more or less to the unhealthy condition of the water, and to all of them the State Board of Health has sent notices that they must not permit the entrance or discharge of sewage into any part of the river or Its contributaries. What was formerly the principal source of pollution, the tannery at Norwood of Winslow Brothers & Smith, has already ceased to empty any objectionable material Into the river.

This company is using, instead, a number of settling tanks, and is building filter beds near the tannery; on these the company is treating the presumably injurious substance which formerly – has gone into the river. At several of the other large plants experiments are being carried on with processes to accomplish the same results. Engineers are employed to prepare plans, and as soon as they find an effective process to take care of it they will withdraw from the river the material now running into it from the factories. The largest plants thus experimenting at present are the paper mills of F. W. Bird & Son at East Walpole, Hollingsworth & Vose at East Walpole, and Tiles ton 4b Hollingsworth at Mattapan.

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