The Public Health Act 1875 was largely seen as a mechanism for consolidating all previous public health acts. It was seen by many as the culmination of campaigning for sanitary conditions in Victorian Britain (Department of Health, 1976). Under the act, previous legislative provisions of sanitation, nuisances and public health were bought together (Brown, 2007) and set a framework for the next 50 years in public health (Baggot, 2000).
The act established named local authorities as rural and urban sanitary authorities, replacing local boards of health. These sanitary authorities would have jurisdiction over the newly created urban and rural sanitary districts. Authorities were obliged to provide clean water, dispose of all sewage and refuse and ensure that only safe food was sold.