Monday, November 30, 2015

Washington D.C. Sues EPA to Allow More Shit in the Potomac

The District’s water and sewer utility has sued the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that it improperly calculated new limits on the amount of E. coli that the region’s sewage treatment facility may discharge into the Potomac River.

D.C. Water says the EPA didn’t account for the fact that the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant can have spikes in E. coli levels when rain water rushes into the plant during storms. In addition to being in human waste, E. coli is found in animal waste that runs off lawns with rain water.
Not to mention wildlife. They poop too.
The lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court is being closely watched by sewer utilities across the country because they also must abide by limits on E. coli as specified in the permits that govern their wastewater treatment facilities.

D.C. Water said flaws in how the EPA calculated the new daily limits for its upcoming permit renewal would result in “unreasonable mandates” that would require as much as $1 billion in upgrades to the Blue Plains plant in Southwest D.C. Blue Plains, the largest such plant in the world, treats sewage for more than 2 million people in the District, and parts of suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.
I've actually toured the Blue Plains plant once when we had a project to look that the output of toxics from the plant into the Potomac. It's remarkable how it takes the natural products of Washington D.C., literally a river of shit a piss, and produces a clear, clean disinfected stream of water. Most of the time. It can be overwhelmed when rain produces too much flow in the system.

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