Story: Sewage, water and waste

Typhoid map, Wellington

An investigation of an outbreak of typhoid in Te Aro, Wellington, in 1892 linked cases with proximity to stormwater and sewer drains. Outbreaks occurred along certain sewer lines during periods of heavy rain. The rain blocked outfalls, and sewer vapours that could not escape seeped back up through water closets and drains into people’s houses. Drains and toilets were consequently installed with traps (U-shaped pipes), which created a water seal that stopped vapours escaping back into houses.

Using this item

Wellington City Archives
Reference: 00233:34:1892/740 typhoid map

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How to cite this page:

Christine Dann, 'Sewage, water and waste - Dirt and disease', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 July 2022)

Story by Christine Dann, published 11 Mar 2010