Minneapolis Stops Sewage Dumping in Mississippi River

Of all the things a city has to address, I can see how preventing sewage from dumping into the river wouldn’t be at the top of the list. Heck, once it’s in the river, it’s someone else’s problem: someone (well, everyone) downstream.

So, even though this doesn’t directly benefit us, it was still the right thing to do. What kind of crazy liberal city uses government to improve the health of people outside of the city? Minneapolis.

Gary Schiff has the deets on the sewage scene:

Minneapolis ends sewage flows into Mississippi zero

Sewage StatsUpgrades to Minneapolis ’ sewer system have reduced sewage flow in the Mississippi River into from eight million gallons annually to zero.

The City of Minneapolis will celebrate an environmental landmark on December 31st, making 2007 the first year on record with no raw sewage dumped into the Mississippi River.

River advocates are hailing the news. “Years of investment in sewer separation are now paying real dividends for the Mississippi River and those of us who use and love it,” said Whitney Clark from Friends of the Mississippi River.

Sewage overflows have vexed older cities for decades. During heavy rains, storm water fills pipes beyond capacity, causing overflow into adjoining sewage pipes. The overflow dumps untreated sewage into the Mississippi River, causing health and environmental concerns.

Work to eliminate sewage overflows began in the 1960s and was stepped up in recent years under the threat of federal fines. Over 20,000 private properties were inspected to disconnect roof drains; new rain gardens have been installed on school properties; and a citizen education project was launched. To learn more about how a rain garden on your property can help keep your watershed clean, click here.

Hmmm, it took the threat of federal fines to actually get this done? You mean the federal government stepped in to help make America’s rivers cleaner and drinking water healthier? Yep, and it worked.

I’ve heard that it’s a lot cheaper to clean water to a drinkable level if you don’t dump sewage in it. Makes sense to me.

4 thoughts on “Minneapolis Stops Sewage Dumping in Mississippi River”

  1. Based on the smell along West River Road just north of Lake Street on my last run there last week, I’m thinking the city might be rounding to the nearest million gallons yet in 2007. Or maybe there are still a couple private sewage dumpers grandfathered into some law by virtue of their relative … “virtue” (you know, I’m sure it is something of great value to us, like a children’s hospital or some institution of higher learning where elves are taught soccer or such).

    Cause that ain’t honey running into the river there.

  2. LOL, Ang, I’ll see if I can further improve upon that graph.

    Mike, good point about the effluent along the Mississippi by the rowing club. I wonder if that’s sewage or just fermented street run-off that’s not sewage but still stinky.

  3. Pingback: Blog Round Up: Week of December 7 - December 14 : American Rivers Blog

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