Monday, July 30, 2012

Sewage in the basement--Atlanta has problems, too

Atlanta, where I currently live, is a tropical place--in the summer, the lightning and thunder storms drench the city.

And yet, someone a very long time ago decided that sewage water and the storm overflow should flow into the same system. Result? The systems are being overwhelmed, and residential basements are being flooded with raw sewage.

For one couple interviewed, this is the third time in three years that this has happened. The city keeps saying that they'll do something, but people are (understandably) frustrated when no concrete time table is presented. Residents have talked to various government agencies and gotten no where. Unfortunately, there is no quick solution--the problem goes down to the engineering of the problem.

Atlanta's infrastructure has been a previous topic for a post. Aging infrastructure in Atlanta has resulted in millions of dollars in EPA fines, polluted surface water sources, and poor water quality in homes. To fix sewage is a huge investment, requiring a great deal of political clout. Even London in the 19th century couldn't get together the political will to fix the problem until Parliament was affected by the horrific stench. What is it going to take this time for aging cities to address major infrastructure problems? Shit in the basements of politicians?

In the meantime, the rain storms continue and there is no real solution in sight.

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