The bad week was mine. I started coughing on Tuesday evening and spent the rest of the week in bed, sleeping or reading. Finished two novels. I usually don’t have patience for that much novel reading, so it was OK.
This morning I woke up feeling relatively well, got dressed and with our newly normal December weather in the fifties, went over to Nine Mile Run. This is Zelda’s pet project and the reason I’ve become involved in the sewage wars. I decided I ought to see what got me going on all of this. Nine Mile Run is wonderful. Without my hearing aids the highway ceases to bother me, but it’s harder to hear the frogs. I took 42 pictures and plan to go back for more, particularly when it rains and I am feeling well.
Last Sunday I hosted the semi-annual party of the book collective (we make books ladies). The highlight of the meeting is always an exchange of books. Since it was my latest obsession I made a book about sewage. It was a big hit. Turns out one of the women is married to someone who is working on the sewage problem. I’ve only begun thinking about all of this, but I have the feeling there are too many groups involved and no one is really doing anything. Too much politics, too much ego, too much vested interest. We need a strong, fearless leader, who probably doesn’t exist in Pittsburgh.
I can’t remember when I’ve watched so much television. I’ve also become enchanted with MsNBC. I didn’t have cable before I moved so never got to see them. Now I’m forced to have cable and they almost make it worthwhile.
I’ve also become mired in sewage, actually, sewage and storm water. Pittsburgh has big sewage problems. The sewer system is old and inadequate and the city and/or county have been fighting with the EPA for years. They finally had to get down to business, maybe just realistic. They are proposing something like the deep tunnel system Chicago has been working on for some forty years: deep tunnels and a three BILLION dollar construction project. Even if the project is implemented basements and streets won’t stop flooding. The tunnel project will store the runoff from rains as little as 1/10th of an inch, and keep it from going into the rivers. In order to prevent flooding the city has to embrace green infrastructure: green roofs, rain gardens and pervious pavement. Of course, if this was done, we wouldn’t have a need for so much tunnel construction. So, as usual with complex problems we’ve opted for the simplest, costliest, but hardly the most effective solution.
So what do I have to do with all this, besides trying to be a good citizen? Not much, really. I don’t have a basement that floods and I haven’t noticed my street flooding. The parking lot next to my building becomes a river when it rains, but it doesn’t affect me. I have a friend who is an environment lawyer and is active is attempting to implement green solutions. She’s been dragging me to meetings and my mistake was to start asking questions. This is probably the first of many posts about sewage. It’s actually a fascinating topic. I have to go to a meeting in 15 minutes. See you later.