Once-Parched Atlanta Is Swamped With Floodwater, Sewerage, And Repair Bills
"Rising water from the Chattahoochee River flooded out Atlanta's R.M. Clayton Water Reclamation Center..., causing a massive dump of sewage..." Image credit:Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Elissa Eubanks
Atlanta Georgia had just begun to relax about water management issues, having recently come out of an extended and severe regional drought. There were water-use restrictions, lawsuits with neighboring states over water rights, and national media tracking of water-levels in the City's only drinking water reservoir. Heck, it even got so bad at one point that the Red Cross advised citizens to keep 5 cases of bottled water on hand for emergency use (not aware, apparently, that most of the bottled water sold in the area was sourced from the same reservoir that was drying up). This week Georgia was inundated by several days of intense rains. Sewerage treatment plants overflowed, and pump stations were ruined (as pictured). People drowned, and others lost property.
The tragedy serves as a reminder that Atlanta's drinking water reservoir was originally built primarily for flood control. Second, the flooding is emblematic of climate change: more extremes, occurring more frequently. Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered the stink.
The greatest damage occurred at Atlanta's R.M. Clayton plant -- the largest in the southeastern U.S. -- which was swamped by at least four feet of water Tuesday when the Chattahoochee River surged more than 12 feet beyond flood level.
City officials said they'd seek federal help to repair potentially "tens of millions of dollars" in damages. They could not even estimate when the plant, which can treat as much as 240 million gallons of sewage a day, would be fixed.
For you climate denialists, I'm not saying this particular extreme was caused by climate change. I'm saying it's emblematic of climate change.
It's also a reflection of increased runoff due to rapid development and the increased impervious surfaces that came with it.
The damaged plants around metro Atlanta continue to dump untreated, or not-fully-treated sewage into floodwaters that then end up rising into homes and businesses.
What is with the euphemistic naming of a poop works after some notable official? Is that a Southern thing; or is it a common tradition around the USA?
Why did print obsess about the preceding drought, yet largely overlook these recent floods?
Federal (disaster aid) is already available. How is it we can go from refusing stimulus grants to "help" in such short order?
is the water receding yet? Let us know.
Posts on the earlier Atlanta drought.
Two Remaining Pieces To The Atlanta Drought Puzzle
Drought Around The World: Atlanta In Perspective
Why One Suburban Atlanta County Has No Drought Problem
Water Running Out in Atlanta
US Department Of Interior Secretary Calls Atlanta Drought "No ...
Biggest Single Water User In Atlanta Is Gatorade Plant