Title

Pipe Dreams: Urban Wastewater Treatment for Biodiversity Protection

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Urban Science

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

Wastewater treatment systems in urban areas of the United States have reached a critical replacement age. From century-old, deteriorating systems raw sewage overflows into basements, streets and surface waters. In economically depressed cities, sewage overflows are frequent and heavily fined, costing municipalities millions of dollars. Pollution by untreated wastewater severely degrades aquatic and wetland ecosystems and exacerbates serious risks to public health. Necessary and extensive clean water infrastructure repairs are imperative to protect the health and habitat of humans and other organisms. As accelerating human development contributes to wide spread losses of naturally occurring wetlands, dwindling patches of habitat native plant and animal species rely on for survival are further threatened. Within this alarming situation is an opportunity to rebuild and retrofit our wastewater treatment systems with infrastructure that enhances long-term ecosystem sustainability.

DOI

10.3390/urbansci2010010

Keywords

Environmental Justice

Disciplines

Urban Studies and Planning

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