Gallons and gallons of raw sewage

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Is it just me, or have we seen a trend in raw sewage spill the last couple of weeks?

First, there was 94,000 gallons, spilled out in a creek in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on June 17th.  According to a commentator, this is really a small amount compared to the water that flows through the creek in question during one hour, so no worries.

Secondly, a couple of days later, on June 20th, a slightly more drastic 120 million gallons of raw sewage was spilled in Lake Michigan, Illinois. The Chicago Area Sea Kayakers Association informed the kayaking community that they should be worried.

Thirdly, 1,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled out in Newport, Oregon, yesterday. After cleaning up, city officials “posted notification of the spill”.

This makes you wonder, right? Are we seeing the early stages of some nationwide conspiracy so spill raw sewage everywhere, or are these just accidents and coincidences? If you want to join the conspiracy believers, you will benefit from this brake-down of risks, cut and pasted from Wisegeek (my italics):

The pathogens in raw sewage can contaminate ecological systems in addition to sickening humans and animals. Raw sewage typically contains viruses and bacteria as well as health-harming microorganisms. For example, this type of waste is known to contain E.coli and hepatitis A; cholera is another well-known pathogen in raw sewage.

Besides being exposed to bacteria and viruses, a person exposed to raw sewage may develop a range of illnesses, including gastroenteritis, which is marked by diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping. The sometimes-fatal Weil’s disease is another common problem, which causes symptoms that resemble the flu and can lead to liver and kidney damage. Occupational asthma, caused by inhaling certain organisms, is another risk of exposure. Even the skin and eyes are not immune, as infection can develop here as well.

Danger, huh? On top of this, raw sewage apparently smells quite foul… On a final note, while we’re on the subject, take time to read about the sewage world sensation that occurred in April of this year. And if you here of more spills of raw sewage, tip us off would you?

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