All communities have plants to clean the sewage water before it reaches the rivers and lakes. However, in the majority of the cases rainwater and sewage water go to the same pipes and in case of heavy rains the system isn’t able to clean it all. As a result the untreated sewage water will be dumped into the nearby rivers.
Among others, Sacramento is one of the cities of the country that struggles with the problem of sewage overflow. The sad truth is that each year the city releases over 200 million gallons of untreated or partially treated sewage water into the Sacramento River that reaches the San Francisco Bay Delta. This happens during heavy rains.
The cities often tried to come up with a solution for the problem (if they had the good intention to at least try). Bigger pipes were built, along with tunnels, pumps, and tanks. These would hold the water until the storm is gone and they would reroute the water to the treatment plant.
Although this method had some success, people were always looking for greener ways to handle the problem, not to mention that it is pointless to treat clean rainwater. The key is to use rainwater to replenish groundwater, nourish green spaces, and to supplement the water supplies, keeping it out of the sewage system so that it won’t cause an overflow.
Reduce the Waste
It is easy to understand that by using less water in your home, you will create less sewage water which in turn won’t burden the sewage system. This way there will be no sewage overflows and the system will be able to carry large amounts of water even when it rains.
If you use less water at home, it means that less water will reach the sewage system. As a result there will be no sewage overflows, the wastewater won’t reach the rivers and the treatment plants will have enough capacity to treat all the waste products that flow through them.
Even the EPA recognizes that by conserving water people can reduce sewage overflows. It is important to maximize the storage of the system; the less wastewater there is, the more space there will be for water when it rains.
If you though that you alone can’t do anything for the environment, think again. Start by closing the tap while you’re brushing your teeth.