September 8, 1854: On this day, the pump handle was actually removed from the Broad Street pump. History does not record who actually took the handle off, but we know it was not Dr. John Snow. After all, the removal of the pump handle was the job of the St. James Board of Commissioners of Paving. Incredibly, public protests resulted in the replacement of the pump handle on September 26, 1855. The Broad Street well was not permanently taken out of service until the cholera epidemic of 1866.
Reference: Vinten-Johansen, Peter, Howard Brody, Nigel Paneth, Stephen Rachman and Michael Rip. Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine. New York:Oxford University, 2003, 292-4, 310, 316-317.
September 8, 1900:On this date, a Category Four hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, and destroyed, among other things, the drinking water system for the city. The storm surge killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people, making it the deadliest natural disaster ever to hit the United States. Basic water service was not restored until September 12, 1900.
Commentary: If you ever visit Galveston, go to the museum devoted to the hurricane. It is hard to comprehend the devastation and loss of life caused by this natural disaster.