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Date: 2024-07-24 Page is: DBtxt003.php L0300-SS-SEWER

Sewer and sanitation infrasdtructure and systems play an important role in the health of everyone.

There is more water than land on planet earth, but only a small part of the water is potable freshwater. Most is saline in the oceans. Water is vital to life. A human will die after three days without any hydration and freshwater is increasingly scarce.


TOO MUCH WATER Water in excess can do big damage. The seriousness of floods has been with us for all of history. There is a flood in the Bible ... and floods through all of history. Too much rain and rapid snow melt causes floods. Undersea earthquakes can cause tsunamis which bring destruction and danger from the sea. Water to drink is good, but too much water from waterboarding is torture. These problem have been recognized for a long time and big flood control systems have been put in place ... in the Netherlands, for example ... On the Thames River in the UK ... on various river systems in the USA ... and so on.


Life requires water to have certain properties. Most living organizations cannot live in water that is too alkaline or too acid. Waste water from most industrail activities contains compounds that result of too much alkalinity or too much acidity, together with dissolved metals and other toxins that are damaging to natural life. Water quality can be improved by a variety of interventions so that the water will sustain life and be used for other purposes, including domestic use which includes drinking water. For much of the industrial revolution rivers were used as open sewers to dispose of industrial (liquid) wastes. Agriculture is another source of water pollution because of the various chemicals now used on a massive scale that flow as runoff into streams and into the broader watershed.


When water is abundant, the use of water is convenient, probably profitable and the negative impact, inconsequential. When water is scarce there is a different dynamic. In this situation water use in one place has a consequential impact in another place. It is vital to rethink the water dynamic so that water use is optimized for all users and not merely the most powerful users or the intitled legacy users. There are two flows in water use through most processes, one is the flow that results in a consumption of the water, and the other is the flow that results in an outflow of water in a more or less polluted condition. The value arising or the value destruction associate with both these flows is material.


One of the characteristics of water is that it is a fluid and it flows. When pollution enters into a stream in a watershed, the pollution flows with the water down through the watershed doing massive damage to the ecosystem as it moves through the system. The need for watershed management has been understood since ancient times. The River Nile is an early example ... because of its great importance to the prosperity of Egypt, the use of Nile water as it flowed from Ethiopia dn Uganda through Sudan (and now South Sudan) was limited. In the United States the Colorado River has been fully exploited, so much so that water no longer reaches the ocean. Water used in New York City comes from a pristine watershed and is great drinking water, while the water flowing into the Chesapeake Bay comes from a watershed that includes abandonned coal mines and other industrial sites and is dangerously polluted ... though less so now than thirty years ago.

Storm water pollution

Storm water pollution
Loving the Puget Sound to Death ... Four decades after the passage of the Clean Water Act, regulators haven’t kept up with the pollution pressure that growing populations put on America’s shorelines.
Open file 9212
Issues ... Water and Sanitation Post-2015 Consensus: Water and Sanitation Assessment, Hutton Open file 9448

The paper highlights the social value realized by modest investment in clean water and the elimination of open defacation.
Open PDF ... CCC-water-sanitation-assessment-paper-Guy-Hutton-2015

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