Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Separating Out The Sewage

Date:
June 7, 2005
Source:
Tufts University
Summary:
A new proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would amend the Clean Water Act to allow partially untreated human waste to be dumped into the country's waterways along with treated sewage -- a process called "blending." One Tufts public health expert says that if approved, the measure could endanger the population and turn back decades of environmental progress.

A new proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would amend the Clean Water Act to allow partially untreated human waste to be dumped into the country's waterways along with treated sewage -- a process called "blending." One Tufts public health expert says that if approved, the measure could endanger the population and turn back decades of environmental progress.

"Congress is about to vote on a measure that would block EPA from allowing sewage blending. We should remind our elected officials that we want less, not more, sewage in the water," Tufts public health professor Jeffrey K. Griffiths wrote in an op-ed published in The Boston Globe.

Griffiths, an associate professor of public health and family medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, is a member of the EPA's National Drinking Water Advisory Council and Science Advisory Board.

He wrote in the op-ed that current procedure mandates sewage to be treated twice -- "by settling out solid materials, and then through a biological process that kills pathogens." Under the new proposal, the biological treatment would not be required as stringently.

"Both treatments are necessary to kill the full spectrum of viruses, bacteria, and parasites in sewage. Both are needed to minimize the risks to people downstream, and both are required by law," he explained.

If blending is allowed, said Griffiths, people could be at risk.

"Clear, scientifically credible information shows that blending sewage lets enough of these germs into our water so that the risks are increased," he wrote in the Globe. "These pathogens can infect all of us, but are of particular concern to children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems."

Blending could also be detrimental to the shellfish industry, according to Griffiths who directs the Global Health division at the school.

"Sewage blending will increase shellfish bed closings, drive shellfish growers out of business, and increase the health risks to the population from eating shellfish," he wrote in the column.

The proposal, said Griffiths, is a shortcut -- not an answer -- to solving problems associated with sewage treatment.

"The EPA's 'solution' effectively legalizes the problem and undermines three decades of progress in cleaning up lakes, rivers and coastal waters," he contended.

Griffiths wrote in the Globe that proponents of sewage "blending" often favor the method to cut costs -- an argument the Tufts expert calls "short-sighted and not persuasive."

"While I sympathize with these towns regarding finances, these infrastructure challenges should not be met by weakening public health protections," he wrote.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tufts University. "Separating Out The Sewage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050607010147.htm>.
Tufts University. (2005, June 7). Separating Out The Sewage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050607010147.htm
Tufts University. "Separating Out The Sewage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050607010147.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins