Flushie's Summer Vacation

Flushie the talking toilet tells us how happy he is to "get out of the (out)house" in this cute lil' propaganda, ... er, issue ad about sewage pollution:

Why every year I dump over 860 billion gallon of raw or inadequately treated sewage into our nation's sparkly waterways... Sheesh, I don't know what's the matter with all you people, I feel just fine in the great outdoors. 3.5 million sick people every year? More like 3.5 million sissies - when you got to go you got to go!

Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] - Thanks Mr. Reasonably Green!

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Oh and if you want info on weekly spills (at least the one's that get reported) there's a site that keep tabs on that sort of thing. http://healthyrivers.org
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Actually 860 Billion is totally accurate. The EPA estimate of 850 billion gallons, as pointed out by Alex, is just Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). CSOs occur anytime it rains in cities like Boston, NYC, DC, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Baltimore and Portland Oregon just to name a few. The additional estimated 10 billion gallons come "accidents" (pump failures, power outages at sewer treatment plants, ruptured sewer lines, etc.) and Sanitary Sewer Overflows SSOs). While these are far less common they are real nasty and worse than CSOs since the sewage is not diluted with stormwater.
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If a certain plant is releasing untreated waste, that is a serious problem and that company should be dealt
with and firmly (and people should know about it)!

Note though that the stuff you drink from your tap is filtered and treated with chlorine more often than not. Granted, it is not "clean" for sure, but it isn't exactly crawling with E. coli and strangely enough, I've checked. You drink more mold from you faucet-head being dirty than bacteria from you tap water.

This IS a big deal, but unfortunately this video presents it so poorly that people won't buy it and will generally consider it as much as they consider PETA or other such groups... sad.

New studies are coming out frequently now that what we put down the drain is really hurting things... one very unexpected example is birth-control drugs. I didn't see this one coming, but it turns out that the boatload of estrogen going down the drain as a result of the drug might be tainting fish populations. It turned out in one river that a 10:1 female to male ratio had occurred in trout populations with an abundant amount of other mixed gender fish as well. I'll tell you now as a geneticist that 10:1 is NOT GOOD. WE NEED BETTER WATER TREATMENT!
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In 2004, an EPA report to Congress stated:

"EPA estimates that about 850 billion gallons of untreated wastewater and storm water are released as CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) each year in the United States"

Source: Link [pdf].

So, the video is right (860 billion, 850 billion - close enough!) on at least one of its points.
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