US wastewater under pressure

Private industry used to be the source of America’s worst pollution. A survey published this month shows that municipal wastewater treatment plants are now by far the largest source of pollution in America’s rivers.

The weakness of America’s wastewater infrastructure was exposed this month, as a report based on Environmental Protection Agency data showed that 53% of major wastewater facilities exceeded their discharge limits during the 2005 – the most recent year for which data is available.

Although the facilities covered include some large industrial plants, 87% of the plants listed in the...

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