Overflowing with Toxins

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sewer systems in U.S. cities may be inadequately preventing environmental and public health crises. Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter, covers the issue in his new series "Toxic Waters", exploring the waterways of cities across the U.S., including New York.


Charles Duhigg

Comments [9]

Taryn from New York/Venice

Spending half the year living in Venice (for the past 5 years) flooded streets and homes are the norm. Everyone knows to never rent an apartment on the first (ground) floor, and when the high water, or aqua alta is coming, a city wide siren goes off. The high water can last for more than 24 hours, and it's just part of life. I've never known anyone to become ill because of it, and we are dealing with toxins that come from the industrial areas on the mainland. This has contributed to problems with the infrastructure of the city (we're literally sinking) but somehow it's just accepted as a part of life!

Nov. 30 2009 12:00 PM
Robert from NYC

The De-Enlightenment.

Nov. 30 2009 11:56 AM
Robert from NYC

trying to man a dyke can cause you some real harm! think about it.

Nov. 30 2009 11:49 AM
John Weber from Jersey Shore

While there is a threat to drinking water from the sewer overflows in some places, it is not in NYC. The real threat is for people who go into the ocean anytime after one of these events.

So smidley your comment about drinking water is a bit off.

Nov. 30 2009 11:47 AM
jim from the Bronx

It's my understanding that the bulk of the cost of sewage treatment is borne by the water users since the sewage charge is 159% of the cost of water. There is minimal charge on water runoff from places like parking lots. With soaring water and sewer charges, it is important to come up with better ways of breaking out the cost of sewage treatment and the construction of things like the CSO's that are a major part of the construction costs.

Nov. 30 2009 11:46 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Also, green roofs, green sidewalks, permeable surfaces, cisterns and other water catchment/reuse systems, etc., to keep rainwater out of the sewers and avoid CSOs (combined sewer overflows) altogether.

Nov. 30 2009 11:41 AM
Robert from NYC

So why not take the Brooklyn Yards money to rebuild the sewers! Why not let Mr Rattner (or however he spells his name) do something GOOD for the city (that includes Brooklyn, BTW).

Nov. 30 2009 11:39 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

Reverse osmosis and other filtration systems, yes.

Nov. 30 2009 11:36 AM

So last year it's "don't drink bottled water." This year it's "don't drink tap water." Aren't we NPR listeners clever enough to simply avoid this fickle liquid altogether? When I need ice it's from reverse osmosis, of course; otherwise I suppose I'll stick with a cocktail at least until Al Gore sorts this all out.

Nov. 30 2009 09:42 AM

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