I’ve been mired in politics

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.