Five gross things we used to dump in the Mississippi River — and what we’re dumping now

Steve Lee, a history buff and retired pollution regulator with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, stops near the University of Minnesota steam plant, southeast of St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis. Lee led a historical tour along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, for students and others interested in the pollution history of the river. Elizabeth Dunbar | MPR News

Take a walk along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis with Steve Lee, and you’ll hear the word "poop" a lot.

That’s because it used to be a huge problem for the Twin Cities, said Lee, a history buff and retired pollution regulator with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

He led a history tour along the river’s Minneapolis banks, and took the opportunity to talk about the variety of things we used to dump in the water. But he made clear that although we have stricter rules about everything from sewage to sawdust, the Mississippi today still faces plenty of threats.

"The pollution problems have changed dramatically," he said. "They’ve gotten harder. They’ve gotten more expensive."

Here’s a look at the pollution that used to be a big problem for the Mississippi — and how today’s concerns […]

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Five gross things we used to dump in the Mississippi River — and what we're dumping now
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Five gross things we used to dump in the Mississippi River — and what we're dumping now
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About the mighty, muddy Mississippi River: "The pollution problems have changed dramatically. They've gotten harder. They've gotten more expensive."
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MPR News
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