In Bangor in 1882 about 690 people contracted the disease, resulting in 89 deaths. Two further
outbreaks occurred in Swansea, killing 63 in 1885, and 43 in an outbreak the following
year. At the time there was some uncertainty as to the cause of the disease. In Bangor,
clothes and bedding were burnt, milk was inspected, but little attention was paid to sanitary
conditions. Bangor was in fact celebrating the opening of its new water supply from a
newly constructed reservoir, which had been hailed as introducing a new purity of water.
Local officials were reluctant to contemplate that it might be the source of the infection.
When the local MOH visited the house of a cholera victim above the reservoir he found
that slops were being emptied directly into a sink that fed into a stream. He reported this to
the Bangor Board of Health, and water samples were sent for analysis in London. Despite
a negative result, when the recommendations of the MOH to renew the filter beds and dig
an intercepting trench to prevent the untreated effluent entering the water were carried out,
the epidemic was brought to a belated end.
Public Health in Wales
A brief history
By Pamela Michael
Actually there seems to be little evidence of a major outbreak of cholera in 1882 in Bangor. Perhaps the author meant the typhoid epidemic of 1882. Between the last week in May and the end of September 1882, 548 cases of typhoid were reported and 42 people died. See Peter Ellis Jones' excellent book, 'Bangor 1883-1983' p.49.