Aging Sewers and Growing Cities Mean Troubled Waters

As cities grow, aging sewer systems are having trouble keeping up with increasing amounts of waste. Often, the result is sewer system overflows that end up directly in waterways.
November 24, 2009, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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"[D]espite those upgrades, many sewer systems are still frequently overwhelmed, according to a New York Times analysis of environmental data. As a result, sewage is spilling into waterways.

In the last three years alone, more than 9,400 of the nation's 25,000 sewage systems - including those in major cities - have reported violating the law by dumping untreated or partly treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers and lakes and elsewhere, according to data from state environmental agencies and the Environmental Protection Agency."

Not even one-fifth of those systems were ever handed fines for their violation of the Clean Water Act.

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Published on Sunday, November 22, 2009 in The New York Times
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