A Look Back at History: Who Solved the Great Stink?

Unearth the enigma of how the Great Stink was eventually remedied and explore the individuals who accomplished it! Uncover the untold narrative of how this notorious event came to a close and gain insight into the valiant heroes who made it happen! Delve into a tale of courage and ingenuity as you uncover the history of how this momentous feat was achieved.

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A clandestine tale of the daring and resourcefulness of a select few, the story of how the Great Stink was eventually remedied is one that has been kept hidden from the public. But now, delve into the incredible journey of these heroes who conquered an apparently impossible mission and revolutionized London’s history forever. Uncover the secrets behind this extraordinary feat and gain insight into their remarkable accomplishments as they worked to make their ambitious plan a reality. Unearth the facts about these brave individuals who made it all possible, and be inspired by their courage and ingenuity!



An odorous episode of unparalleled intensity befell London in 1858, a time when the city’s sewage system had overflowed and created an overpowering miasma. Fortunately, Joseph Bazalgette, a renowned English civil engineer, stepped in to resolve the issue. His revolutionary design and construction of London’s modern sewer system was a defining moment for not only the 19th century but also the city itself, transforming it into one of the world’s most celebrated metropolises. Furthermore, his work greatly reduced cholera fatalities and improved living conditions significantly.

– History of the Great Stink and Its Resolution

In 1858, a noxious odour descended upon London, so overpowering it was said to have caused members of the Houses of Parliament to flee their chambers. In response to this public health crisis, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli commissioned engineer Joseph Bazalgette to construct a sewer system for the city. The project took eight years and resulted in an intricate network of underground sewers and pumping stations that diverted waste away from the Thames River and out into the estuary. Embankments along the north and south banks provided additional protection against flooding.

The results were remarkable: water quality improved dramatically, allowing Londoners to breathe clean air and drink clean water once again. To this day, many parts of Bazalgette’s sewer system remain intact after over 150 years – a testament to his ingenuity and perseverance in tackling one of London’s most difficult problems.

– The Role of Joseph Bazalgette in Solving the Great Stink

A figure of immense importance in British history, Joseph Bazalgette was summoned to tackle a grave predicament: the River Thames had become an abysmal cesspool of human waste and other pollutants due to rapid population growth and industrialisation, leading to an unbearable stench that forced members of Parliament to leave their chambers during sessions. With a sense of urgency, Bazalgette proposed a comprehensive plan to build an expansive network of underground sewers throughout London, allowing all sewage to be diverted away from the river and into the sewers for treatment before being discharged downstream. His proposal was accepted by Parliament in 1858, sparking the commencement of what would later be known as “Bazalgette’s Sewerage System”: over 1,100 kilometers of brick-lined tunnels with 82 pumping stations and 14 main outfalls, costing £3 million (approximately £300 million today) and taking eight years to complete. The project proved successful almost immediately; within two years the odour had vanished from the Thames and Londoners were once again free from its oppressive stench.

Today Joseph Bazalgette is remembered as one of Britain’s greatest engineers for his role in resolving this issue. His legacy lives on through London’s sewerage system which continues to provide clean water for millions every day.

– Impact of the Great Stink on Victorian England

A putrid aroma, so foul it caused Parliament to adjourn, befell Victorian England in 1858. The cause of this noxious smell was the Thames, polluted by untreated sewage and industrial waste, and the health hazard posed to Londoners was immense. This event, known as the Great Stink, sparked a flurry of action from politicians who passed legislation to address the issue. Joseph Bazalgette, a civil engineer, designed an intricate network of sewers and pumping stations along the Thames which helped reduce pollution levels in the river.

The Great Stink also brought attention to public health reform across Britain, leading to improved living conditions for many people. In addition, doctors began studying diseases associated with poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene practices more closely. This resulted in greater understanding of how germs spread and how they could be prevented through better sanitation measures.

This momentous occasion in history had far-reaching implications that still resonate today; it served as a reminder that something needed to be done about pollution levels in order to protect both human lives and natural resources from further destruction.

– Historical Significance of the Solution to the Great Stink

An acrid and unbearable stench engulfed the streets of London in 1858, a consequence of the city’s sewage system being unable to cope with its rapidly growing population. This health crisis caused such a disruption that Parliament had to suspend their sessions due to its intensity. In response, an urgent search for a solution was launched and Joseph Bazalgette was tasked with creating a revolutionary design.

Bazalgette’s plan used gravity instead of steam pumps to move waste away from populated areas, thus preventing future outbreaks of disease. He also built 82 miles of sewers taking into account topography and tidal flows, allowing him to create an effective network which could manage London’s sewage for many years afterwards. This project is seen as one of the earliest examples of modern urban planning, having an immense impact on public health around the world. It not only helped resolve the Great Stink but also improved sanitation throughout London, reducing waterborne diseases and improving air quality in the process. Thus, it is considered a major milestone in British history whose effects are still felt today.

– Causes and Consequences of the Great Stink in British History

A fetid odour permeated the air of London, England in 1858, leaving its citizens in a state of acute discomfort. The source of this unpleasantness could be traced to outdated sanitation and sewer systems that were unable to cope with the burgeoning population and its waste products. This caused untreated sewage to seep into the River Thames, resulting in an unbearable stench.

The repercussions of this event were far-reaching. Aside from causing widespread distress among Londoners, it also highlighted the necessity for better public health infrastructure in Britain. This prompted Parliament to pass legislation that improved sanitation systems and allocated funding for public health endeavours.

It also led to remarkable engineering feats such as Joseph Bazalgette’s construction of a new sewer system beneath London. This system was designed to keep human waste separate from drinking water and significantly reduce pollution in the River Thames.

The Great Stink is an integral part of British history as it served as a crucial impetus for change in public health infrastructure and sanitation standards across Britain. It is also a reminder that proper management of resources is essential for maintaining public health and avoiding similar calamities from occurring again in future.


A perplexing resolution to a problem of immense proportions was achieved by Joseph Bazalgette, a figure of significant influence in British history. An extensive sewer system for the city of London was designed by him, which assisted in diminishing the rampant health issues and contamination that had become so pervasive during the summertime. This solution ultimately provided an answer to the Great Stink, and is still operational today.


Some questions with answers

Q1. Who solved the great stink?
A1. Sir Joseph Bazalgette is credited with solving the Great Stink of 1858 in London.

Q2. What was the cause of the great stink?
A2. The Great Stink was caused by a combination of industrial and domestic sewage that had been allowed to accumulate in the River Thames for many years.

Q3. When did the great stink occur?
A3. The Great Stink occurred in 1858 during a particularly hot summer in London.

Q4. What did Sir Joseph Bazalgette do to solve the great stink?

A4. Sir Joseph Bazalgette designed an extensive network of sewers to divert waste away from the River Thames and out into the English Channel.

Q5. How has this affected London’s history?

A5. The sewers created by Sir Joseph Bazalgette are still used today and have had a lasting impact on London’s history, helping to make it one of the world’s most liveable cities.

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