10 August 2010

Shit happens

We get pissloads of rain. Occasionally we get pissloads of rain at one time. This is a problem because the Chicago area, which used to be mostly prairie plants and corn, is now mostly asphalt, concrete, and useless turf grass. This is also a problem because Chicago has a combined sewer/stormwater system. Stormwater is supposed to be diverted to the Deep Tunnel and sit there until it can be treated along with the sewage, but when the system is overwhelmed (and all it takes is a few rainstorms in succession---which is not an unusual occurance---to overwhelm it) the locks on the Chicago River and/or North Shore Channel are opened to allow the sewer/stormwater overflow into Lake Michigan. The lake, of course, is too large to flood in such a fashion, but the raw sewage does create some dire ecological and public health problems. Before this happens, sewage can allegedly back up in toilets and drains and in storm grates on the street (and thence into basements), which is equally unpleasant. This happened in Cicero, so they're suing the MWRDGC. There are several things wrong with the lawsuit that I can see right away, but I won't get into them. For one, it's kind of pointless to do that here. (Who cares what I think?) For two, I need to go pick up my bike now anyway.

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