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William Farr

William Farr

William Farr (1807-1883)

Farr was an epidemiologist and early statistician. In 1866, he published figures for cholera deaths for the last week in July and made public his concerns about East London Water:[1]

‘The East London Waterworks canal draws its supply from the river at Lea Bridge where there is a reservoir, and the canal runs for a couple of miles by the side of the Hackney cut don to its reservoirs north of Bow and near the Lea (Old Ford). It is right to add that the water has hitherto borne a comparison with other London waters in Professor Frankland’s analyses. Today the water looks clear and no complaints are made of its quality. The company will no doubt take exemplary pains to filter its waters, but it is not easy to guarantee the purity of water drawn from such a river as the Lea.’


[1] The Strange Case Of The Broad Street Pump: John Snow And The Mystery Of Cholera. Sandra Hempel

leabridge.org.uk December 2012