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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

"Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health."

"Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres."

"The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates."

The 14-Year-Old Who Convinced People to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide

"The compound can corrode and rust metal and cause severe burns, the paper correctly argued. If you consume it, it can cause bloating and excessive urination and sweating. Thousands of people in the U.S. die from its accidental ingestion every year. If you are dependent on it, going through withdrawal can kill you. It’s found in significant quantities in acid rain, tumors, and more. Armed with this information and asked what the world should do about the threat of DHMO, 43 of Zohner’s classmates voted to ban the compound, citing its deadly nature. Lucky for them, no lawmaker would agree: DHMO is the chemical formula for water."

Popsicles Made From 100 Different Polluted Water Sources Grab World’s Attention

"These popsicles might look like the sort of thing you’d expect to find being served from a quirky organic artisanal food truck, but one bite could leave you very ill indeed, because they’re actually made from sewage found in the polluted waters of Taiwan."

"They were made by three design students for the Polluted Water Popsicles project, which aims to raise awareness about rising water pollution due to rapid economic growth and urbanization. Water was taken from 100 different water sources in Taiwan and turned into frozen toxic popsicles before Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui, and Cheng Yu-ti from the National Taiwan University of Arts recreated them using transparent polyester resin. They even made wrappers for them that represented the different regions from which the polluted water samples were taken. While the trash in the water was varied, about 90 percent of it was plastic, and the popsicles contain everything from bottle caps and plastic bags to bottles and chopstick wrappers. It’s a simple yet effective way of getting us to think about water pollution from a totally different perspective. Popsicle anyone?"

Colchester woman wants ‘deadbeat’ dam gone

"The sight and sounds of an old stone dam on her property have utterly charmed Colchester resident Kim Scofield.

"Nonetheless, she wants the dam torn down."

"She made up her mind about a year after moving into the old house above Indian Brook."

"That was time enough for Scofield to determine that Mill Pond Dam is too expensive, too hazardous and too disruptive to wildlife passage up- and downstream."

Google Maps: Region 4 Combined Sewer Overflows

The dataset represents the locations of combined sewer overflow (CSOs) outfall locations in DEC Region 4, specifically the Albany Pool. It also includes overflow detection capabilities of CSO communities and overflow frequency data within a specified timeframe.

Combined sewer systems (CSS) are sewer systems that are designed to collect storm water runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe and bring it to the publicly owned treatment works (POTW) facilities. During rain events, when storm water enters the sewers, the capacity of the sewer system may be exceeded and the excess water will be discharged directly to a waterbody (rivers, streams, estuaries, and coastal waters). http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/48595.html

The cities of Albany, Troy, Cohoes, Rensselaer, Watervliet, and the Village of Green Island make up the partner communities in the Albany Pool Communities. Among the six communities there are nearly 100 CSO discharge points. The Albany and Rensselaer County Sewer Districts are connected to the CSO program through their State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits, and are cooperating with the Pool communities in implementation of the Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) for the abatement of CSOs. Read more about this program at http://www.cdrpc.org/CSO.html.

Data Source: https://data.ny.gov/Energy-Environment/Combined-Sewer-Overflows-CSOs-Beginning-2013/ephi-ffu6

Sewage treatment

Sewage treatment is one of the most expensive and energy intensive services that local governments provide, but also one of the most important. Most sewage treatment is a mixture of mechanical and biological processes - relatively few chemicals are used. This Wikipedia article explains how sewage treatment works - check out also their article on how septic tanks in rural areas work.