[p. 46] that a portion of the sewage of Charlestown now finds its way into the Mystic river, and that the towns of Malden and Everett may one day use the river for a similar purpose, and we therefore urge upon the town the importance of resisting by every means in its power any attempt on the part of the neighboring cities and towns to contaminate the water of the river by making it a receptacle for sewage matter.This was referred to the selectmen, with instructions as suggested by the report. These were acted upon none too soon; for the city of Cambridge had already petitioned the General Court for an act authorizing the use of Alewife brook as a sewer and for liberty to erect tide-gates to prevent the incoming tide from backing up the sewage into Fresh pond, its water supply. At a hearing before the Legislative Committee of Water Supply and Drainage, to whom the petition was referred, the selectmen opposed the granting of the petition upon the ground that such use would contaminate the water of the river, to the prejudice of the health of the citizens of Medford. Counsel for Cambridge stated to the committee that he had not anticipated any opposition to the petition, and invited them to view the premises and examine the conditions therein. The committee accepted the invitation, and joined by the Medford committee, made investigation. It concluded that the subject demanded favorable action, but agreed to insert a section in the bill to safeguard the interests of the town of Medford, viz., Section 2 of Chapter 193 of the Acts of 1874. The Broadway tide-gates were erected near the Broadway bridge over Alewife brook. They were constructed by the city of Cambridge (by an agreement with the town of Arlington) in 1875, and were in use up to the time of the completion of the Metropolitan sewer in 1897. The town of Medford never experienced any discomfort from the sewage from Alewife brook. All the insoluble portions were deposited in the tortuous channel of the brook and they created a nuisance therein. That, together with the unsanitary conditions prevailing in part of the cities of Cambridge and Somerville and the
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