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In recent months, the editorial staff of Water & Wastes Digest has noticed a rather disturbing trend—the number of wastewater-related spills in the U.S. has increased, dramatically.
Admittedly, we have not conducted a formal scientific study on the number of wastewater spills. Rather, WWD editors have noticed the upward tick of news stories, gathered from a variety of consumer and business-related sources, covering wastewater spills at locations throughout the country.
This summer, WWD editors tracked close to 20 such stories.
A few examples:
I could continue, but I think you understand how these wastewater spills are quickly moving from a problem to an epidemic. I am not attempting to condemn those responsible for the spills; rather, my point is to address the impact the wastewater spills can have overall.
As noted above, the millions of gallons of wastewater spilled into our waterways not only has a profound affect on the waterways themselves, but also the surrounding environment, and most importantly, the citizens that use these waterways for recreation, and perhaps, consumption.
What has not been reported is the number of people who have taken ill after having been exposed to the waterways contaminated by the wastewater. I wonder if anyone has come up with a formula that can determine the number of people who have gotten sick in relation to the number of millions of gallons of wastewater spilled.