George S. Webster and Samuel Tobias Wagner, “History of the Pennsylvania Avenue Subway, Philadelphia, and Sewer Construction Connected Therewith,” Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume XLIV (December 1900), pp. 1-33 and plates I – IV.

PDF version (printer-friendly).

Frederick E. Turneaure, C. E., Editor-in-Chief, Cyclopedia of Civil Engineering, Volume VII, (Chicago: American School of Correspondence, 1908) – a compendium of articles including:

Anson Marston, “Sewers and Drains,” pp. 233-313, 344-357 (some pages missing).

PDF version (printer-friendly).

W. B. Gray and C. B. Ball, “Plumbing,”  pp. 383-453

PDF version (printer-friendly).

Colonel E. C. S. Moore, “Introduction, Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter III,” Sanitary Engineering, Volume I, 3rd Edition revised by E. J. Silcock (Philadelphia: J. B.           Lippincott Company, 1909), pp. 1-69.

Introduction, pp. 1-4. PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter I: Conservancy Systems, pp. 5-15. PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter II: Sewerage, pp. 16-51. PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter III: Sewage Lifting, pp. 52-69. PDF  version (printer-friendly).

18 Feb 1915 advertisement in Engineering News for a new tunneling machine … for use in clay, stiff sand, and gravel formations. Note that the source of machine’s power is an electric motor. Carpenter Construction Co. Document provided courtesy of Jon Schladweiler
PDF version.

“This is the “Introduction”  to the 1914 (First Edition, Third Impression) text book by Leonard Metcalf and Harrison P. Eddy entitled “American Sewerage Practice Volume I Design of Sewers”.  It is an excellent review of the design and construction practices for sewers – leading up to that time in history.”  Source:  Jon Schladweiler

PDF version

Brief History – Concrete Pipe

Non-reinforced concrete pipe began to be used for culverts and sewers in the United States in the mid-1800’s.  The first sanitary sewer pipe, in the US, made of concrete was installed in 1842 in Mohawk, New York.  This gravity sewer was reported to still be in active service in 1984.The earliest use of concrete pipe for storm culverts (under roads and/or railroads) was near Salem, Illinois in 1854 – it was still in beneficial service 100 years later. France, in 1896, was reported to have been the first to reinforce concrete pipe with iron reinforcing cages/rebars.  The concept caught on in the US in the mid to late 1920’s. Initially, large diameter concrete pipe (non-reinforced or reinforced) was cast/cured at the involved job site; i.e., at trench side.  Later ( in the 1930’s), as motorized equipment for the loading/unloading of the heavy concrete pipe and, vehicles/trucks to transport the pipe from the factories to the jobsites became readily available, the pipe was cast at regional factories and transported (by trucks, railroads, or a combination thereof) to the involved jobsites.


J. T. Brown, W. H. Maxwell, editors, “Sewerage,” The Encyclopedia of Municipal and Sanitary Engineering (New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1910), pp. 421-433.

PDF version (printer-friendly).

Leonard Metcalf and Harrison P. Eddy, “Introduction: The Lessons Taught by Early Sewerage Works,” American Sewerage Practice, First Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1914), pp. 1-31.

PDF version (printer-friendly).

A. Prescott Folwell, Sewerage – The Designing, Construction, and Maintenance of Sewerage Systems, 7th edition (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1916), pp. 1-12, 44-68, 69-86, 141-176, 345-358.

Sewerage – the System (pp. 1-12) PDF version (printer-friendly).

Flow in Sewers (pp. 44-68) PDF version (printer-friendly).

Flushing and Ventilation (pp. 69-86) PDF version (printer-friendly).

Detail Plans (pp. 141-176) PDF version (printer-friendly).

Sewer Maintenance (pp. 345-358) PDF version (printer-friendly).

H. K. Barrows, “Present Tendencies in Sewer Construction and Design,” Municipal Engineering, Volume LIV, No. 4 (April 1918),        pp. 144-146.

PDF version (printer-friendly).


Revised and rewritten by John J. Buchan, Reid’s Practical Sanitation, 24th Edition (London: Charles Griffin & Company, Limited, 1948). Provided courtesy of James Joyce, P.E., Technical Director, Odor and Corrosion Technology Consultants, Inc.

Chapter 1: Introductory – Vital Statistics (pp. 1-6)    PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter 2: Water Supply, Drinking Water, Pollution of Water (pp. 7-29) PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter 4: Sewerage and Drainage (pp. 56-64)      PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter 5: Sanitary Works and Appliances (pp. 65-82)  PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter 6: Introductory – House Drainage Connections (pp. 83-100)  PDF version (printer-friendly).

Chapter 7: Introductory – Sewage and Refuse Disposal (pp. 101-123)  PDF version (printer-friendly).

Appendix – Sanitary Law (pp. 207-217)  PDF version (printer-friendly).

Carroll E. Coberly, “Sewers, A   re-examination of Some of the Fundamentals of Design and Construction of Sewers,” Water Works and Sewerage, May 1944, pp.186-188.

PDF version (printer-friendly). PDF is located on the Water and Wastes Digest website

W. L. Malcolm, “Sewer Design Practice,” Water Works and Sewerage, May 1944, pp. 227-230.

PDF version (printer-friendly). PDF is located on the Water and Wastes Digest website

  Modern articles about the period

Steven J. Burian, Stephan J. Nix, S. Rocky Durrans, Robert E. Pitt, Chi-Yuan Fan, and Richard Field, “The Historical Development of Wet Weather Flow Management” (Internet publication).

PDF version.

Petri S. Juuti & Tapio S. Katko (eds.), Water, Time and European Cities – History Matters for the   Futures (Tampere University Press, Finland, 2005).  Thanks to Petri Juuti, Ph.D., University of Tampere, Finland.

PDF version.          Also found on University of Tampere website.

Informational brochure published by the Portland Cement Assoc. entitled “Concrete Sewers”; dated 1918.  Document provided courtesy of Jon Schladweiler

PDF version (printer-friendly).

1928 U.S. Department of Agriculture – Farmers’ bulletin No.1227 entitled “Sewage and Sewerage of Farm Homes”. The bulletin describes ways for construction and operating home (“private”) sewerage facilities – one that will help protect and better the health and welfare if its users. Source: Jon Schladweiler

PDF version