The members of the corporation have now before then several plans for supplying the metropolis with pure water, and the complaints of acknowledged impurity having greatly increased, it is, we understand, their intention to make the greatest exertions to meet the necessity. Amongst the suggestions which are looked upon with much curiosity is one which would, at no very distance period, have appeared quite chimerical. It has been proposed to form separate filters under the bed of the river Thames itself, competent to furnish a quantity of pure water equal to the consumption of each company, and within the reach, at a moderate outlay, of any new companies which may be formed hereafter. The wells, on each side of the river within a certain distance, are affected by the rise and fall of the tide, which fact proves that they derive a supply by filtration from the river. They give a water wholly untainted with animal or vegetable matter, and only impregnated with mineral or saline matter where it had passed through earth containing such matter. It has been proposed, in consequence of the asserted efficiency of the filtration thus produced in the Thames water, to obtain a similar supply by means of a filter constructed in the same natural principles under the bed of the river itself, which might be made of materials not containing mineral matter that can pass in solution with the water. It is calculated that the deposit of mud on the sides of the Thames not reaching below the low water mark, and the bed of the river throughout being generally a clean porous gravel, the mud will puddle in, and close the pores of the gravelly bed on which it lies, above the low water mark, so that the filtration into the neighbouring wells must take place below water mark. A filtering chamber is therefore proposed to be constructed below the bed of the river, through which the main pipe or tunnel will conduct the filtered water into a well on the riverside, which may be taken from thence by the present steam power on shore, and delivered out by the mains and branches now laid down by the existing water companies.
Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger: (No.1827, Sunday, April 3, 1831.)