Saturday, October 25, 2014

But It's The Government, So, It's OK

From the Detroit Free Press:
Almost 10 billion gallons of sewer overflows poured into southeast Michigan's waters in the historic August flooding, according to a Free Press review of data from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
That number includes more than 44 million gallons of raw sewage from sanitary sewers and almost 3 billion gallons from combined sewer and storm water systems, all untreated, raising concerns about deteriorating water quality in the Great Lakes system.
A full accounting of the total was not available immediately, but the Macomb County Health Department had posted information after the storm indicating 1 billion gallons of overflows had poured into Lake St. Clair or its tributaries, according to an earlier Free Press report. The volume affecting the whole region was 10 times that total, and the number now reported by Macomb County is more than twice the initial estimate.
Untreated waste acts as a sort of fertilizer for invasive plant species like phragmites and toxic algae blooms that clog waterways and can turn beachfront areas into stinking swamps. Raw sewage also can endanger the region's drinking water with high levels of bacteria, adding to the algae problem that sparked a two-day water crisis in Toledo in August.
To put 10 billion gallons in perspective, consider that it would equal about 20 million 50-gallon baths, using a measurement suggested by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The EPA and other State government agencies go ape shit when a farmer dumps 5 gallons of manure into a river or lake.
But let a local government dump 44 billion gallons of raw sewage and other untreated into the Great Lakes, well, hey, it's the government and they won't do a darn thing.

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