The American Industrial City : The Issue Of Fresh Water, Water Pollution, And Smells

1480 Words6 Pages
The American Industrial City: The Issue of Fresh Water, Water Pollution, and Smells Throughout the mid-19th century, many cities across America were becoming industrialized and growing in size. As a city develops and grows, the city uses resources such as food, water, raw products, and energy. All these resources are consumed within a city. The outcome of all this consumption is the production of waste (Tarr 15). In the mid-19th century, a massive migration of Americans and wave of migrants from different countries in Europe and other parts of the world begin to settle in urban settings across America. Many were seeking better job opportunities and better lives in American cities. As a result, industrial cities grew dramatically and became…show more content…
There was a concern of who had access to clean water and how to deal with wastewater. Joel Tarr, in The Metabolism of the Industrial City, discusses how the industrial city of Pittsburgh began encountering issues of access to fresh water and problems with wastewater polluting the environment. Many homes in the mid-19th century, especially among the working class did not have access to running water (Tarr 15-19). Joel Tarr argued that access to water was “unevenly distributed” and created “environmental injustice” among the poor in Pittsburgh (Tarr 18). The low-income districts had poor water supplies compared to the affluent neighborhoods. The working class often relied on using the nearby local springs, wells, and rivers that were polluted as a drinking source. Tarr discussed that the pollution of the rivers in Pittsburgh was caused from both domestic and industrial sources. This badly affected the condition of water being extracted from rivers and wells, which is used heavily for both consuming water and for industrial usages (Tarr 16). As factories were built near riverbanks, many industries would pollute the nearby water resources when oils, chemicals, and other waste contaminated vital drinking water. However, this pollution of water was also the result of so many people living in a congested city. As more people began living in cities and were
Open Document