Olga V. Tereshkina
Tula State University, Medical Institute, Tula
128, Boldin St., Tula 300028, Russia
In the second half of the 19th century, the provision of drinking water to Russian cities was a pressing need for social and hygiene reasons. In Tula, this had become a key issue for the development of the city and the provision of sanitation at the required level. The city’s first sanitary doctor, P.P. Belousov, was tasked with dealing with this issue. The article attempts to clarify his role in organizing the construction of the Tula water pipeline, which was put into operation in 1893, although this issue had been discussed since the 1830s. On the basis of archival documents, as well as periodical publications, Belousov’s and the city medical community’s approach to the construction of the city water supply is reviewed. As a result of a conflict with his colleagues, Belousov left the Society of Tula Doctors in 1893. The Tula Doctors’ Society sent a statement to the Medical Department of the provincial government stating that its members insisted on reviewing the results of studies conducted on urban water sources and the project adopted on their basis, submitted by the Water Commission and the City Council. Belousov repeatedly conducted studies of Tula water sources and was familiar with their results. All sources, including those chosen for the construction of the water pipe and approved by the Duma resolution, were suitable for use, and each had its own advantages and disadvantages. Considering the many preceding years of centralized city water supply management in Tula, Belousov tried to speed up finding a solution to the issue, since procrastination was extremely dangerous given the existing sanitary and epidemic situation. Belousov supported a project that was not popular in Tula society, and managed to achieve a positive solution to one of the city’s major sanitary issues.
Keywords: P.P. Belousov, water supply, tap water sources, Tula Doctors’ Society