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Description:This historic diagram, which had been digitally enhanced and colorized, depicted a cross-sectional representation of an improperly constructed “flowing” well that was being used as a farm’s potable water supply.

Note that the privy and the barn have both been built uphill from the well. This increased the chances for contamination from liquid waste traveling downhill from these structures. The water supply is also accessible to animals, which also increased the chances of contamination. By dipping a receptacle into the well in order to retrieve water, the farmer is also contributing to the chances that the water supply could become contaminated.
Published in 1917, this was one of a series of instructional drawings used by the Minnesota Board of Health to train its state public health workers. The purpose of this and other like images, and the training was focused on protecting potable water supplies from bacterial contamination.

High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (12.87 MB)
Content Providers(s):CDC/ Minnesota Department of Health, R.N. Barr Library; Librarians Melissa Rethlefsen and Marie Jones
Creation Date:1917
Photo Credit:
Links:Minnesota Health Department
Minnesota Health Department; R.N. Barr Library
CDC – Nat. Center for Infectious Diseases; Water-Related Diseases
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.