Monday, June 14, 2010

Toxic cocktail of sewage overflows among worst in Metro Detroit rivers in 25 years, says the Freep

This spring’s heavy rains resulted in some of the most voluminous dumping of raw and partially treated sewage into Southeast Michigan’s rivers in the past 25 years according to today’s Detroit Free Press:

Two local beaches had bacteria counts 1,000 times higher than levels considered safe. More than 10 Metro Detroit beaches were closed last week due to the pollution.

I know this is a bit repetitive with one of last week’s posts But does talking about raw feces in our rivers ever get old? No, I didn’t think so!

We consider ourselves a pretty civilized society, here in the early 21st Century in the most powerful nation in the world. How bizarre that we’re still discharging huge quantities of what the Freep’s Steve Neavling calls  “…a toxic cocktail of rainwater, fertilizers, human and industrial waste, chemicals, parasites and other pollutants…” directly into our neighborhood creeks and rivers.

The Freep story is the first I’ve heard of State Rep. Sarah Roberts’ bill to “require health officials to notify the public immediately of overflows and contamination on a popular web site or other medium that is easily accessible.”  It sounds reasonable to me, as long as we remind ourselves that notifying people isn’t a substitute for fixing the problem.


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