Story: Epidemics

Causes of death, Christchurch, 1875–1910 (3rd of 3)

Causes of death, Christchurch, 1875–1910

This graph shows how improvements in sewage treatment impacted on public health in Christchurch. Before the installation of a sewer system, the city council abolished cesspits and switched to a nightsoil-collection system, which took human waste away from housing areas. This had an immediate impact on death rates from infectious diseases associated with human waste, such as typhoid. Completion of a sewer system in the city in 1882 hastened the decline of these diseases.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: Geoffrey Rice, 'Public health in Christchurch, 1875–1910: mortality and sanitation.' In A healthy country: essays on the social history of medicine in New Zealand, edited by Linda Bryder. Wellington: Bridget Williams, 1991, p. 96.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Geoff Rice, 'Epidemics - The typhoid era, 1810s to 1890s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 December 2021)

Story by Geoff Rice, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 15 May 2018