Sewers and Garbage

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"Our Town" By James W. Tucker

Hampton Union

Thursday, September 7, 1950

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There has been some little inconvenience for each of the citizens of our town in connection with the laying of the new sewer mains. But all of these inconveniences, grouped together, will not begin to offset the great good which will accrue to our town as a result of the installation of the sanitary sewer system.

The illegal and unsanitary use of local storm drains as sewer pipes has provided a health hazard in Hampton and likewise has resulted in stenches in our small but modern trading center which have not only offended countless nostrils but have proven an obstacle to business as well. Cess-pools and septic-tanks, at best, are oftentimes bothersome and mighty poor substitutes for an up-to-date municipal disposal system, such as we will be able to brag about in a comparatively short time.

Traffic has been slightly delayed on a few occasions, village streets have been temporarily closed, road beds have been made rough and rutty and housewives have been bothered with noise and with dust. Nearly everyone concerned has taken these discomforts in stride. Some thoughtless citizens have complained outright and others have resorted to the cowardly anonymous letter to vent their ill-considered spite on officials who have planned well to rid our town of the health menace always present where there is no adequate disposal system.

Over ninety-nine per cent of our citizens have been so happy with the rapid and expert progress which the contractor has made that they have been glad to overlook the slight inconveniences which the pipe installation has caused.

Soon, it will be goodbye forever to privies, open-drains, cess-pools and all other types of archaic facilities in the main residential area of our town. The new mains will have been installed, connected with an enlarged and modernized disposal plant and all right-thinking citizens will have made their entries into the new system. And in its 312 years of existence, our town will never have completed a longer or more worthwhile stride in the direction of progress.

We salute the industrious members of the sewer committee -- and in particular, their hard working chairman, Ernie Underwood -- all the town officials, the engineers, the contractor and everyone else who has had even a small part in this latest healthful achievement of our town.

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At the last town meeting, provision was made at considerable expense for a modern facility in which to collect garbage, or, to use a less elegant word, hardly every heard outside the cultural confines of New England, swill. This facility is a truck body so ingeniously designed and constructed that both its contents and the odor of its contents are entirely screened from the public. It passes through the immaculate streets, thronged with happy seekers after recreation, of the "Cleanest Beach on the Atlantic Coast" and it offends neither the eyes nor the nostrils of our welcome guest. The sanitary truck and its courteous, competent driver are a credit to our town.

But there's a fly in this soothing ointment. In the Island section at the beach, a garbage collector has been making the rounds on his own, calling at least twice or three times a week. He collects in an open truck body or in uncovered barrels or both, leaving behind him an indescribable odor which permeates streets and homes to the great disgust of the pedestrian and the cottager. There is nothing particularly pleasing either about the looks of the contents of the truck or of the barrels. This is exactly the condition which the voters in town meeting assembled last March sought to avoid. One way -- and obviously not the only way -- to solve the dilemma is for householders to tell the chap who lacks the sanitary facility for moving garbage to stay off their premises and to immediately put in a call through the town office, for the capable Mr. Pierce who has a contract with Hampton authorities for removing garbage and who drives the sanitary disposal truck.

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