An article about the Barking Sewage Farm appeared in The Illustrated London News on 26th September 1868, page 304, as follows:
The Metropolis and Essex Reclamation Company, with a view of showing practically the value of sewage as a fertilising agent, have taken Lodge Farm, and have had it for some time under cultivation, using the sewage over the greater portion of the farm.
Barking Sewage Farm
Extensive works have been commenced at Barking Creek for conveying the sewage, through Essex, to the Maplin Sands; but they are not yet completed. At the present time the sewage is forced by a pumping-engine, adjacent to the northern outfall, through an iron pipe, for about two miles, into a tank, of which we give an Illustration. It is then conveyed by a series of cuttings, or, in some cases, by a wooden trough, to any part of the land.
Tank at Barking Sewage Farm
The sewage, as it runs through the cuttings or carrier ditches, can be easily, by the insertion of a spade, made to run over the various plots of land (which are divided by smaller cuttings) at any point desirable; and, as it flows all over, a great portion is taken up. The remainder, running into another cutting, at the lower part of the plot, can be again and again used, until at length it falls into a ditch at the lowest end of the farm, colourless and free from taint or odour. Our second Illustration shows the farm buildings newly erected, the old having been destroyed by fire. As far as appearance goes the, the crops look vigorous and plentiful. At the northern outfall a plot of the sand brought from the Maplin has been laid down twelve to fourteen inches in depth, and by the use of the sewage a crop of potatoes and beans has been grown, as well as if planted on ordinary garden ground.