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.

"[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.

Full Story: As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways



Voters can approve funding for upgrades

States can include a ballot question for voters that would approve new funding for sewer plant improvements. This effort is very important re public health and revitalization.

Without public funding of improvements, some local governments will resort to making bad deals with developers in exchange for sewer plant upgrades- a trend that we don't want to see continue.

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