Op-Ed: To save the Earth, think like a ‘blue water’ sailor — and go swimming in our sewers
Sally Kagan, a former deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and professor of environmental studies at Johns Hopkins University, has recently published a blog post titled “What to do with our sewer systems.”
As the writer noted, “Sewage treatment and collection facilities are often viewed by the public with scorn and even loathing. Yet for all the negative feedback, our nation’s water infrastructure remains as important as ever.”
Kagan, whose work has attracted national and international attention, has offered a number of recommendations for how the nation’s water infrastructure can continue to provide the safe drinking water needed for life and the environment.
The writer suggests several changes that could both save money and clean our water — but also could reduce the risk of pollution:
1. Fix infrastructure
In a post titled “Fixing our water infrastructure is a no-brainer,” Kagan notes that our nation’s infrastructure was constructed to last for decades, not decades with a few simple fixes.
“This doesn’t mean we can make any of our current infrastructure obsolete with a few simple fixes,” Kagan wrote. “It means that we have to work hard to improve it.”
She notes that, “The solution to our water infrastructure woes will require bold action, and a commitment to invest in the infrastructure that is likely to work better.”
The key question, she wrote, is, “How can we make the existing infrastructure — and our treatment and delivery infrastructure — work better?”
Currently, Kagan suggests several measures that could improve the nation’s water infrastructure.
Of particular interest is the fact that Kagan proposes to upgrade our nation’s wastewater treatment system, which should reduce the need for new wastewater treatment facilities.
Additionally, much as in Kagan’s original post, the writer suggests funding the construction of treatment plants designed to help remove certain pollutants from our water. If funding is not available to construct the needed treatment plants, the writer recommends the construction of new treatment plants that are designed to remove pollutants and protect drinking water.
However, Kagan’s piece does not focus solely on the treatment of wastewater, but also on the