Outdated Sewage Systems Across US Wreaking Havoc on Environment

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(Newswire.net — October 22, 2018) –Across the United States, outdated sewer systems, sometimes with pipes that are over a century old, are generating significant environmental damage. Cities are looking towards state and federal grants to help pay for the hefty cost of updating the sewer systems.

For example, Brookhaven, Pennsylvania will benefit from a grant in the amount of $390,175 to replace outdated sanitary sewer mains in the borough. Similarly, the Southern Delaware County Authority will receive $392,000 for their small water and sewer funds to upgrade the sanitary sewer system in Upper Chichester, while $150,000 earmarked for Nether Providence will be used for watershed restoration and protection for stream bank restoration. Finally, McGarrigle’s district will have $1.8 million in grant money towards completing park and sewer-related projects.

In many of these locations, the piping is over 100 years old and has a tendency towards blockages that occur as a result of tree roots and other matter that has managed to penetrate the weakened pipes. This results in backups and overflow of wastewater into surrounding homes, bodies of water and at manholes where it causes contamination.

In addition, the outdated piping is not equipped with modern technology to separate waste water and contaminants from the clean water. The old pipes contain a mechanism known as structured overflow which allows a mix of rain and sewage water to escape when the pipes become overflowed, such as during heavy rainstorms. This results in wastewater contaminating natural bodies of water and overflowing into streets and other areas.

To replace an entire system is a complex and expensive task. The design phase, the construction and the implementation of water pipe repairs and replacements that needs to occur on a city wide scale can take years, and can come at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars depending on the size of the project.

However, repairs and replacements must be made as these outdated systems are a major pollution concern for more than 770 cities in the U.S. To offset the expense, some municipalities are looking to secure outside funding to install modernized systems that separate sewer and rainwater systems, thereby protecting the oceans and other bodies of water from contamination.