1. Introduction : the river pollution dilemma 2. Victorian Britain I : public health and local government 3. Victorian Britain II : river pollution and sanitary engineering 4. Nuisance law and nuisance economics 5. Birmingham, Adderley and the River Tame 6. Delays and contingencies : Leeds and Barnsley 7. The threat of sequestration : Leamington Spa and Tunbridge Wells 8. Negotiation and settlement : Harrogate and the St. Helens Canal 9. The tactic of diversion : Northampton and the Brinsop Hall Coal Company 10. Protection by statutory legislation : Wolverhampton 11. Conclusions.