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Waste Treatment Plants Finding More Than Sewage Coming Through The Pipes


Rick Boston

Rick Feltenberger, plant operator for the Roaring Spring Borough Municipal Authority, shows some of the items people have flushed down their toilets that have made their way to the waste treatment plant. Plant operators say people are flushing objects that can cause major damage to pipes and equipment.

From a public health perspective, the modern sewage treatment plant is as important as vaccines. As recently as the beginning of the 20th Century, raw sewage was diverted from homes into trenches with the idea that it would eventually make its way into the rivers and streams.

During the 1800s and through the Civil War, Washington, D.C., was a cesspool of human waste. Raw sewage was dumped into the Washington Canal on the Potomac Flats, where today stands the Lincoln and World War II memorials.

The canal led to the Potomac River, with the idea that once it hit the water, it was no longer a...

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