Photo via Blumpy
If you wonder whether or not we need more funding to go towards maintaining and updating infrastructure, go take a dip in the San Francisco Bay today. Or maybe not. Since Tuesday, a ruptured steel pipeline has leaked about 500,000 gallons of waste from a treatment plant near Sausalito into the bay. And it's not the first time. A hole about 2.5" in diameter allowed a flow of about 300 gallons a minute of waste to head out into the water. The problem has been contained, but only a temporary fix has been established. It still needs to be completely repaired. The whole waste treatment system, it seems, is in need of an overhaul. San Francisco Bay has been getting doses of waste for the last few years:
In January 2008, two spills from facilities operated by the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin - which serves the Mill Valley area - dumped more than 5 million gallons of raw and partially treated sewage into the bay.
The smaller Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District has had its own problems. In January 2008, the district's collection system in northern Sausalito leaked 63,000 gallons of sewage into the bay, and a power outage that month resulted in a leak of 17,000 gallons at another one of its facilities. In August 2008, about 12,000 gallons of sewage leaked at its pump facility at the foot of Sausalito's Main Street.
The guilty treatment plant in this case was updated back in the late 80s. Thankfully, it is recognized that funding for new improvements is needed:
The sanitary district is pursuing a $30 million capital improvement program, including plans for a $14 million underground storage basin to be opened in four years. The district's board of directors has approved a 30 percent rate increase to begin paying for these projects.
In the mean time, stay out of the water.
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