Few cesspools were in use, and water was only available in the streets. This contributed to frequent outbreaks of cholera and tuberculosis in the slums, where many people lived in houses with narrow streets and little sunlight.
Gradually, fountains, sewers, urinals, and fire hydrants were constructed. By the 1860s, horse drawn tipcarts were used to collect garbage from sidewalks, where it had been dumped the night before for collection.
In the 1880s cesspools became more popular, sometimes by decree, and in spite of organized protests by cesspool cleaners and some unlikely colleagues, medical men. Louis Pasteur wanted sewage to be dumped into the sea because he believed cesspool treatment did not kill enough of the organisms that caused infection.
When garbage cans came into use, outbreaks of typhoid and cholera became less frequent and killed fewer people. In the late 19th century, as the benefits of fresh water, sewers, and garbage collection became common knowledge, health and life expectancy improved dramatically.