Record-setting rain has created a biosolids problem for sewage treatment plants

photo: Biosolid treatment by-products use stalled due to heavy rains

Photo: Record-setting rain in the D.C. area has caused problems for local sewage treatment plants. (Robert Miller/The Washington Post)

Sewage treatment plants throughout the Mid-Atlantic are dealing with a smelly problem: The farmland that typically uses the material that remains after the treatment process as natural fertilizer is saturated from last year’s heavy rains.

That means utilities have to store the biosolids until the farmland dries — and some of

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Elevated Nitrate Levels Found in Millions of Americans’ Drinking Water

photo: residential drinking water sauce

Photo: Steve Johnson / Flickr

Public water systems serving more than 5.6 million Americans contain concentrations of nitrate at levels found to cause health problems, including cancer and birth defects, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health. Systems serving Hispanic populations tended to have the highest levels of nitrate in drinking water.

Nitrate in water originates from various sources, including fertilizers, sewage treatment systems, and … [more…]

$3 billion problem: Miami-Dade’s septic tanks are already failing due to sea rise

photo: 2016 king tides in Miami-Dade County

Photo: A Miami-Dade neighborhood that relies on septic tanks experiences flooding during the 2016 King Tide. A new report commissioned by the county shows that half of the county’s septic tanks break down yearly, a problem that sea level rise will worsen. MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Miami-Dade has tens of thousands of septic tanks, and a new report reveals most are already malfunctioning — the smelly and unhealthy evidence of which often … [more…]

EPA’s Own Data Refutes Justification for Clean Water Act Rollback

photo: hog farm, AKA pork facility, AKA pig farmers

A swine facility in Eastern North Carolina. Photo: Caitlin Penna for The Intercept

While Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler was introducing the new rule that will vastly scale back federal water protections, Matthew Starr was preparing to take water samples from the Neuse River.

Starr, one of two official keepers of the North Carolina river, already has a hard job. As a protector of the Neuse, a body … [more…]

Businesses discharging PFAS into Michigan’s waterways

erial photo: water water treatment plant near a public waterway.

BY PAULA GARDNER AND GARRET ELLISON

Michigan businesses are discharging high levels of PFAS that move into the state’s waterways on a daily basis.

An MLive investigation found that manufacturing sources are sending one version of the "forever chemicals" at up to 20,000 times the allowed amount into wastewater systems that discharge it into the state’s lakes, rivers and, ultimately, threatening drinking water supplies for millions of people.

That comes … [more…]