Originally Posted by 9990
Eww. Why do some cities mix storm and waste sewers? I grew up in the Midwest, where everything is built reasonably well and actually works. Still getting used to Pennsylvania after 8 years.
You have to remember, some cities like Philadelphia have water and sewer systems that are well over 100 years old (Philly's is about 170), and until the 50s it was SOP to simply drain sewage into the rivers ("the solution to pollution is dilution"). Didn't work so well as the cities got bigger. So now we treat wastewater before dumping, but we still have combined sewers, because we have literally several thousand miles of sewer pipe and storm water inlets. All of it goes to the treatment plants, unless heavy rain causes overflow conditions that the plants can't handle. We're working on it, but it is a project of decades.
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