According to a recent report put out by the climate change research group Climate Central, Hurricane Sandy was responsible for around 11 billion gallons of raw and untreated waste getting into natural waterways last October.
To put that into perspective, the official estimate for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is 210 million gallons. Multiply that number by 52 or so and you get the 11 billion gallons of sewage spilled during Hurricane Sandy.
That's a lot of crap (literally) that shouldn't have been spilled. We need to harden the defenses that protect important infrastructure from the negative effects of big weather events and start redesigning how we use, collect, and treat wastewater. It's not a cheap or an easy problem to tackle, but so very much rides on our ability to adjust to the new realities of our human-impacted climate. We can't keep adding billions of gallons of waste to our streams, lakes and oceans every time a big storm rolls through.
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