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Public Health Act 1875


This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

  1. Introductory Text

  2. PART I Preliminary

    1. 1.Short title

    2. 2.Extent of Act

    3. 3.Division of Act into parts

    4. 4.Definitions


    1. Constitution of Districts and Authorities

      1. 5.Urban and rural sanitary districts

      2. 6.Description of urban districts and urban authorities

      3. 7.Incorporation of local boards and improvement commissioners

      4. 8.Election of local boards

      5. 9.Description of rural districts and rural authorities

      6. 10.Powers and duties of urban authorities

      7. 11.Powers and duties of rural authorities

      8. 12.Vesting of property in local authorities


    1. Sewerage and Drainage

      Regulations as to Seivers and Drains

      1. 13.Sewers vested in local authority

      2. 14.Power to purchase sewers

      3. 15.Maintenance and making of sewers

      4. 16.Powers for making sewers

      5. 17.Sewage to be purified before being discharged into streams

      6. 18.Alteration and discontinuance of sewers

      7. 19.Cleansing sewers

      8. 20.Map of system of sewerage

      9. 21.Power of owners and occupiers within district to drain into sewers of local authority

      10. 22.Use of sewers by owners and occupiers without district

      11. 23.Power of local authority to enforce drainage of undrain houses

      12. 24.Power of local authority to require houses to be drained new sewers

      13. 25.Penalty on building house without drains in urban district

      14. 26.Penalty on unauthorised building over sewers and under streets in urban district

    2. Disposal of Sewage

      1. 27.Powers for disposing of sewage

      2. 28.Power to agree for communication of sewers with sewers of adjoining district

      3. 29.Power to deal with land appropriated to sewage purposes

      4. 30.Contribution to works under agreement for supply distribution of sewage

      5. 31.Application of 27 & 28 Vict. c.114 to works for supply sewage

    3. As to Sewage Works without District

      1. 32.Notice to be given before commencing sewage works without district

      2. 33.In case of objection, works not to be commenced without sanction of Local Government Board

      3. 34.Inspector to hold inquiry and report to Local Government Board

    4. Privies, Watercxosets, &c

      1. 35.Penalty on building houses without privy accommodation

      2. 36.Power of local authority to enforce provision of privy accommodation for houses

      3. 37.As to earthclosets

      4. 38.Privy accommodation for factories

      5. 39.Public necessaries

      6. 40.Drains, privies, &c. to be properly kept

      7. 41.Examination of drains, privies, &c. on complaint of nuisance

    5. Scavenging and Cleansing

      Regulations as to Streets and Houses

      1. 42.Local authority to provide for cleansing of streets and removal of refuse

      2. 43.Penalty on neglect of local authority to remove refuse, &c

      3. 44.Power of local authority to make byelaws imposing duty of cleansing, &c. on occupier

      4. 45.Power to provide receptacles for deposit of rubbish

      5. 46.Houses to be purified, on certificate of officer of health, or of two medical practitioners

      6. 47.Penalty in respect of certain nuisances on premises

    6. Offensive Ditches and Collections of Matter

      1. 48.Provision for obtaining order for cleansing offensive ditches lying near to or forming the boundaries of districts

      2. 49.Removal of filth on certificate of inspector of nuisances

      3. 50.Periodical removal of manure from mews and other premises

    7. Water Supply

      Powers of Local Authority in relation to Supply of Water

      1. 51.General powers for supplying district with water

      2. 52.Restriction on construction of waterworks by local authority

      3. 53.As to construction of reservoirs

      4. 54.Power of carrying mains

      5. 55.As to supply of water

      6. 56.Power to charge water rates and rents

      7. 57.Incorporation of certain provisions of Waterworks Clauses Acts

      8. 58.Power to supply water by measure

      9. 59.Register of meter to be evidence

      10. 60.Penalty for injuring meters

      11. 61.Power to supply water to authority of adjoining district

      12. 62.Local authority may require houses to be supplied with water in certain cases

      13. 63.Powers of water company for supplying water to local authority

      14. 64.Vesting of public cisterns, &c. in local authority

      15. 65.Water for public baths, or trading or manufacturing purposes

      16. 66.Duty of urban authority to provide fire-plugs

      17. 67.Agreements with universities

    8. Provisions for Protection of Water

      1. 68.Penalty for causing water to be corrupted by gas washings

      2. 69.Local authority may take proceedings to prevent pollution of streams

      3. 70.Power to close polluted wells, &c

    9. Regulation of Cellar Dwellings and Lodging-houses

      Occupation of Cellar Dwellings

      1. 71.Prohibition of occupying cellar dwellings

      2. 72.Existing cellar dwellings only to be let or occupied on certain conditions

      3. 73.Penalty on persons offending against enactment

      4. 74.Definition of occupying as a dwelling

      5. 75.Power to close cellars in case of two convictions

    10. Common Lodging-houses

      1. 76.Registers of common lodging-houses to be kept

      2. 77.All common lodging-houses to be registered, and to be kept only by registered keepers

      3. 78.Local authority may refuse to register houses

      4. 79.Notice of registration to be affixed to houses

      5. 80.Byelaws to be made by local authority

      6. 81.Power to local authority to require supply of water to houses

      7. 82.Limewashing of houses

      8. 83.Power to order reports from keepers of houses receiving vagrants

      9. 84.Keepers to give notice of fever, &c. therein

      10. 85.As to inspection

      11. 86.Offences by keepers of houses

      12. 87.Evidence as to family in proceedings

      13. 88.Conviction for third offence to disqualify persons from keeping common lodging-house

      14. 89.Interpretation of "common lodging-house"

      15. 90.Local Government Board may empower local authority to make byelaws as to lodging-houses


      1. 91.Definition of nuisances

      2. 92.Duty of local authority to inspect district for detection of nuisances

      3. 93.Information of nuisances to local authority

      4. 94.Local authority to serve notice requiring abatement of nuisance

      5. 95.On non-compliance with notice complaint to be made to justice

      6. 96.Power of court of summary jurisdiction to make order dealing with nuisance

      7. 97.Order of prohibition in case of house unfit for human habitation

      8. 98.Penalty for contravention of order of court

      9. 99.Appeal against order

      10. 100.In certain cases order may be addressed to local authority

      11. 101.Power to sell manure, &c

      12. 102.Power of entry of local authority

      13. 103.Penalty for disobedience of order

      14. 104.Costs and expenses of execution of provisions relating to nuisances

      15. 105.Power of individual to complain to justice of nuisance

      16. 106.Power of officer of police to proceed in certain cases against nuisances

      17. 107.Local authority may take proceedings in superior court for abatement of nuisances

      18. 108.Power to proceed where cause of nuisance arises without district

      19. 109.Provision in case of two convictions for overcrowding

      20. 110.Provision as to ships

      21. 111.Provisions of Act relating to nuisances not to affect other remedies

    12. Offensive Trades

      1. 112.Restriction on establishment of offensive trade in urban district

      2. 113.Byelaws as to offensive trades in urban district

      3. 114.Duty of urban authority to complain to justice of nuisance arising from offensive trade

      4. 115.Power to proceed where nuisance arises from offensive trade carried on without district

    13. Unsound Meat, &c

      1. 116.Power of medical officer of health to inspect meat, &c

      2. 117.Power of justice to order destruction of unsound meat, &c

      3. 118.Penalty for hindering officer from inspecting meat, &c

      4. 119.Search warrant may be granted by a justice

    14. Infectious Diseases and Hospitals

    15. Provisions against Infection

      1. 120.Duty of local authority to cause premises to be cleansed and disinfected

      2. 121.Destruction of infected bedding, &c

      3. 122.Provision of means of disinfection

      4. 123.Provision of conveyance for infected persons

      5. 124.Removal of infected persons without proper lodging to hospital by order of justice

      6. 125.Removal to hospital of infected persons brought by ships

      7. 126.Penalty on exposure of infected persons and things

      8. 127.Penalty on failing to provide for disinfection of public conveyance

      9. 128.Penalty on letting houses in which infected persons have been lodging

      10. 129.Penalty on persons letting houses making false statements as to infectious disease

      11. 130.Power of Local Government Board to make regulations

    16. Hospitals

      1. 131.Power of local authority to provide hospitals

      2. 132.Recovery of costs of maintenance of patient in hospital

      3. 133.Power to provide temporary supply of medicine

    17. Prevention of Epidemic Diseases

      1. 134.Power of Local Government Board to make regulations for prevention of diseases

      2. 135.Publication of regulations and orders

      3. 136.Local authority to see to the execution of regulations

      4. 137.Power of entry

      5. 138.Poor law medical officer entitled to costs of attendance on board vessels

      6. 139.Local Government Board may combine local authorities

      7. 140.Penalty for violating or obstructing the execution of regulations

    18. Mortuaries, &c

      1. 141.Power of local authority to provide mortuaries

      2. 142.Justice may in certain cases order removal of dead body to mortuary

      3. 143.Power of local authority to provide places for post-mortem examinations


    1. Highways and Streets

    2. As to Highways

      1. 144.Powers of surveyors of highways and of vestries under 5 & 6 W.4 c.50 vested in urban authority

      2. 145.Inhabitants of urban district not liable to rates for roads without district

      3. 146.Power of urban authority to agree as to making of new public roads

      4. 147.Power of urban authority to construct or adopt public bridges, &c. over or under canals, &c

      5. 148.Power of urban authority to enter into agreement with turnpike trustees as to repair, &c. of roads

    3. Regulation of Streets and Buildings

      1. 149.Vesting of streets, &c. in urban authority

      2. 150.Power to compel paving, &c. of private streets

      3. 151.Exemption from expenses under last section of incumbent of church, &c

      4. 152.Power to declare private streets when sewered, &c. to be highways

      5. 153.Power to require gas and water pipes to be moved

      6. 154.Power to purchase premises for improvement of streets

      7. 155.Power to regulate line of buildings

      8. 156.Buildings not to be brought forward

      9. 157.Power to make byelaws respecting new buildings, &c

      10. 158.As to commencement of works and removal of works made contrary to byelaws

      11. 159.What to be deemed a new building

      12. 160.Incorporation of certain provisions of 10 & 11 Vict. c.34

    4. Lighting Streets, &c

      1. 161.Powers of urban authority for lighting their district

      2. 162.Power for sale of undertaking of gas company to urban authority

      3. 163.Watching and Lighting Act (3 & 4 W.4 c.90) to be superseded by this Act

    5. Public Pleasure Grounds, &c

      1. 164.Urban authority may provide places of public recreation

      2. 165.Urban authority may provide public clocks

    6. Markets and Slaughter-houses

      1. 166.Urban authority may provide markets

      2. 167.Incorporation of provisions of 10 & 11 Vict. c.14 as to markets

      3. 168.Power for sale of undertaking of market company to urban authority

      4. 169.Power to provide slaughter-houses

      5. 170.Notice to be affixed on slaughter-houses

    7. Police Regulations

      1. 171.Incorporation of certain provisions of 10 & 11 Vict. c.89

      2. 172.Urban authority may make byelaws for licensing horses, boats, &c. for hire


    1. Contracts

      1. 173.Power of local authorities to contract

      2. 174.Provisions to contracts by urban authority

    2. Purchase of Lands

      1. 175.Power to purchase lands

      2. 176.Regulations as to purchase of land

      3. 177.Power to let lands

      4. 178.Provision for lands belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster

    3. Arbitration

      1. 179.Mode of reference to arbitration

      2. 180.Regulations as to arbitration

      3. 181.Claims under twenty pounds may be referred to court of summary jurisdiction

    4. Byelaws

      1. 182.Authentication and alteration of byelaws

      2. 183.Power to impose penalties on breach of byelaws

      3. 184.Confirmation of byelaws

      4. 185.Byelaws to be printed, &c

      5. 186.Evidence of byelaws

      6. 187.Byelaws made under s.90 of 5 & 6 W.4 c.76 to be submitted to Local Government Board

      7. 188.As to regulations of local authority

    5. Officers and Conduct of Business of Local Authorities

    6. Officers of Local Authorities

      1. 189.Appointment of officers of urban authority

      2. 190.Appointment of officers of rural authority

      3. 191.As to medical officer of health, &c

      4. 192.Offices tenable by same persons

      5. 193.Officers not to contract with local authority

      6. 194.Officers entrusted with money to give security

      7. 195.Officers to account

      8. 196.Summary proceedings against defaulting officers

    7. Mode of conducting Business

      1. 197.Urban authority to provide offices

      2. 198.Proceedings, &c. of urban authority being the council of a borough

      3. 199.Meetings, &c. of urban authority not being the council of a borough

      4. 200.Power of urban authority to appoint committees

      5. 201.Power of rural authority to delegate their powers and duties to a committee

      6. 202.Power of rural authority to form parochial committee

      7. 203.Casual vacancies in committees may be filled

      8. 204.Meetings and proceedings of committees

      9. 205.Inspectors may attend meetings of certain authorities

      10. 206.Local authority to report


    1. Expenses of Urban Authority and Urban Rates

      1. 207.Mode of defraying expenses of urban authority

      2. 208.Power in certain cases by provisional order to alter mode

    2. General District Rate

      1. 209.District fund account

      2. 210.Making general district rate

      3. 211.Assessment, &c. of general district rate

      4. 212.Inspection of poor rate books for purposes of assessment

    3. Private Improvement Rate

      1. 213.Power to make private improvement rates

      2. 214.Proportion of private improvement rate may be deducted from rent

      3. 215.Redemption of private improvement rates

    4. Highway Rate

      1. 216.Costs of repairs of highways

      2. 217.Certain acts not required to be done in case of highway rate made by urban authority

    5. General Provisions as to Urban Rates

      1. 218.Estimate to be prepared before making rates

      2. 219.Rates to be open to inspection

      3. 220.Description of owner or occupier in rates

      4. 221.Rates may be amended

      5. 222.Publication and collection of rates

      6. 223.Evidence of rates

      7. 224.Power to make deduction from rate in certain cases

      8. 225.Power to reduce or remit rates

      9. 226.Saving for existing agreements

      10. 227.Limit in local Act not to apply to rate for purposes of this Act

      11. 228.Quota of rates to be paid by the universities, &c

    6. Expenses of Rural Authority

      1. 229.Expenses of rural authority

      2. 230.Mode of raising contributions in rural district

      3. 231.Remedy for nonpayment by overseers of amount required by precept of rural authority

      4. 232.As to private improvement expenses

    7. Borrowing Powers

      1. 233.Power to borrow on credit of rates

      2. 234.Regulations as to exercise of borrowing powers

      3. 235.Power to borrow on credit of sewage land and plant

      4. 236.Form of mortgage

      5. 237.Register of mortgages

      6. 238.Transfer of mortgages

      7. 239.Receiver may be appointed in certain cases

      8. 240.Rentcharge may be granted in respect of advances made for private improvements

      9. 241.Rentcharges to be registered

      10. 242.Power of Public Works Loan Commissioners to lend to local authority

      11. 243.Power of Public Works Loan Commissioners to lend to local authority on recommendation of Local Government Board

      12. 244.Borrowing powers of joint boards and certain other authorities

    8. Audit

    9. Audit of Accounts of Local Authorities

      1. 245.Accounts of local authorities

      2. 246.Audit where urban authority are a town council

      3. 247.Audit where urban authority are not a town council

      4. 248.Audit of accounts of rural authority

      5. 249.Taxation of bill of solicitor or attorney

      6. 250.Auditor to audit accounts of officers


    1. Prosecution of Offences and Recovery of Penalties, &c

      1. 251.Summary proceedings for offences, penalties, &c

      2. 252.General provisions as to summary proceedings

      3. 253.Restriction on recovery of penalties

      4. 254.Application of penalties

      5. 255.Proceedings in certain cases against nuisances

      6. 256.Summary proceedings for recovery of rates

      7. 257.Recovery of expenses by local authority from owners

      8. 258.Justices may act though members of local authority are liable to contribute

      9. 259.Appearance of local authorities in legal proceedings

      10. 260.Name of local authority need not be proved

      11. 261.Demands below 50l may be recovered in county courts

      12. 262.Proceedings not to be quashed for want of form

      13. 263.False evidence punishable as perjury

      14. 264.Notice of action against local authority, &c

      15. 265.Protection of local authority and their officers from personal liability

    2. Notices

      1. 266.Notices, &c. may be printed or written

      2. 267.Service of notices

    3. Appeal

      1. 268.Appeal in certain cases to Local Government Board

      2. 269.Appeal to quarter sessions

  9. PART VIII Alteration of Areas and Union of Districts

    1. Alteration of Areas

      1. 270.Powers of Local Government Board in relation to alteration of areas

      2. 271.Local Government Board may by provisional order constitute local government district

      3. 272.Local Government Board may by order constitute local government district in pursuance of a resolution of owners and ratepayers

      4. 273.Objection to resolution

      5. 274.Appeal to Local Government Board in case of alleged invalidity of vote

      6. 275.General provisions as to orders

      7. 276.Local Government Board may invest rural authority with powers of urban authority

      8. 277.Power of rural authority to form special drainage districts

      9. 278.Power to settle disputes as to boundaries of districts

    2. Union of Districts

      1. 279.Formation of united district

      2. 280.Governing body of united district

      3. 281.Contents of provisional order forming united district

      4. 282.Meetings and proceedings of joint boards

      5. 283.Expenses of joint board

      6. 284.Payment of contributions to joint board

      7. 285.Power to execute works in adjoining districts, and to combine for execution of works

      8. 286.Districts may be united for appointing a medical officer of health

    3. Port Sanitary Authority

      1. 287.Constitution of port sanitary authority

      2. 288.Jurisdiction of port sanitary authority

      3. 289.Delegation of powers by port sanitary authority

      4. 290.Expenses of port sanitary authority

      5. 291.Provision as to port of London

      6. 292.Proceedings for raising a sum for payment of debt within district of a defaulting authority

  10. PART IX Local Government Board

    1. Inquiries by Board

      1. 293.Power of Board to direct inquiries

      2. 294.Orders as to costs of inquiries

      3. 295.Orders of Board under this Act

      4. 296.Power of Inspectors of Local Government Board

    2. Provisional Orders by Board

      1. 297.As to provisional orders made by Local Government Board

      2. 298.Costs of provisional orders

    3. Power of Board to enforce Performance of Duty by defaulting Local Authority

      1. 299.Proceedings on complaint to Board of default of local authority

      2. 300.Further provision for recovery of expenses

      3. 301.Power of Board to borrow to defray expenses of performing duty of defaulting authority

      4. 302.Recovery of principal and interest

    4. Powers of Board in relation to Local Acts, &c

      1. 303.Power to repeal and alter local Acts

      2. 304.Settlement of differences arising out of transfer of powers or property to local authority

  11. PART X Miscellaneous and Temporary Provisions

    1. Miscellaneous

      1. 305.Entry on lands for purposes of Act

      2. 306.Penalty on obstructing execution of Act

      3. 307.Penalty on damaging works, &c. of local authority

      4. 308.Compensation in case of damage by local authority

      5. 309.Compensation in certain cases to officers

      6. 310.Provision where improvement Act district or local government district becomes a borough

      7. 311.Power of local boards to change name

      8. 312.As to election of certain improvement commissioners, &c

      9. 313.Substitution in other Acts of provisions of this Act for provisions of repealed Acts

      10. 314.Byelaws as to hop-pickers

      11. 315.As to byelaws inconsistent with this Act

      12. 316.As to construction of incorporated Acts

      13. 317.Construction of schedules

    2. Temporary Provisions

      1. 318.As to clerk and treasurer of certain authorities

      2. 319.As to special district rates

      3. 320.Division of expenses between landlord and tenant in certain cases

      4. 321.Validity of certain securities

      5. 322.As to certain turnpike trustees

      6. 323.As to main sewerage districts and joint sewerage boards

      7. 324.As to audit of certain accounts

      8. 325.As to certain orders under section 20 of 35 & 36 Vict. c.79

  12. PART XI Saving Clauses and Repeal of Acts

    1. Saving Clauses

      1. 326.Provision as to the sanitary authorities existing at the passing of this Act and their officers, &c

      2. 327.Saving for works and property of certain authorities, and for navigation and water rights, &c

      3. 328.Reference to arbitration in case of works not within preceding section

      4. 329.Effect of arbitration

      5. 330.Provision as to transfer of powers, &c

      6. 331.Provision as to alteration of sewers

      7. 332.Saving for water rights generally

      8. 333.Arbitration as to alteration of sewers injuriously affecting supply of water, &c

      9. 334.Saving for mines, &c

      10. 335.Saving for collegiate bodies and Government departments

      11. 336.Saving for Metropolitan Board of Works

      12. 337.Saving for payment in certain cases to local authority

      13. 338.Saving for acts of authorities under certain local Acts

      14. 339.Saving for certain local boards

      15. 340.Saving for proceedings under local Acts

      16. 341.Powers of Act to be cumulative

    2. Oxford

      1. 342.Constitution of local board of the Oxford district

    3. Repeal of Acts

      1. 343.Repeal of Acts in Schedule V

    1. Schedule


    2. Schedule


    3. Schedule


    4. Schedule


    5. Schedule


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