Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WaPo article on the Chicago Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) problems -- compare to DC's CSO

See this Washington Post story on the Chicago combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) and the problems it causes.

Click on the link to read the * entire * article.

I haven't heard of anyone's flooded basement in Bloomingdale getting maggots.

The cost of climate change

Attack of the Chicago climate change maggots

The effects of climate change are creeping into Chicago's low-income neighborhoods

 July 23 at 6:00 AM

CHICAGO — Sewage gushed up Lori Burns’s toilet. It swept the floor. It wrecked the water heater, the deep freezer, her mother’s wedding veil.
This basement invasion was the third in five years. Burns, 40, could no longer afford to pay a cleanup crew. So she slipped on polka dotted rain boots, waded into the muck, wrenched out the stand-pipe and watched the brown water drain.

The South Side native, a marketing specialist, estimated damages at $17,000. And that did not include what she could not replace: the family heirlooms, the oriental rugs, her cashmere sweaters. The bungalow had flooded four times from 1985 to 2006, when her parents owned it. Lately, it flooded every other year. Burns felt nature was working against her. In a way, it was.

Increased storm frequency is particularly problematic in Chicago, where the sewer system was designed to absorb rain nearly 120 years ago. The city’s storm water systems were built on the assumption that the biggest storms happen only once each decade, at a time when the population was much smaller, said Robert Moore, who leads a climate preparation team at the Natural Resources Defense Council in downtown Chicago. “Climate change will only amplify an existing issue.”...

The combined sewer system overflows when an inch of rain soaks the city, directing waste into the Chicago River. If more than 1.5 inches of rain fall city-wide in a day, Moore said, it floods basements across town, disrupting lives and bank accounts.

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