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EPA Proposes to Allow Dumping of Partially Treated Sewage Into Rivers

Posted: 12/04/2003
By: Kevin Colburn

How does paddling past a pipe gushing untreated sewage into the river sound to you?

If this sounds less than ideal, you need to take a minute to send a comment to the EPA. Yes, the current administration is proposing to do it again, to make the environmental regulations that protect our environment and our health even weaker.

The EPA has recently proposed a new policy that would allow partially treated sewage to be released directly into rivers during heavy rains, when paddlers are out on the rivers. The policy, known as "sewage blending" would allow sewage treatment facilities to bypass a currently required and critical phase of treatment. This partially treated wastewater would then be mixed with treated wastewater and released straight into the river.

This proposal would expose whitewater paddlers, you, to a significant health risk. Partially treated sewage still contains dangerous pathogens that can cause a variety of infections, hepatitis, dysentery, and other illnesses.

Paddlers need to act to protect their own health and the health of the river, as the two are intricately interwoven. The EPA is accepting comments on the proposed blending policy until January 9th. Take action today and tell the EPA to protect human health and the environment by withdrawing this proposal. To take action, visit an easy to use comment filing page on the American Rivers web page. Please take the time to personalize the comment letter by explaining your tendency to go paddling during high water! Access the page by clicking HERE.

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