The Argument for Doubling the Clean Water Fund
How close are those numbers are to reality? Who knows. Because most of the raw sewage is carried into waterways by rainwater, the total depends on the amount of rain. And sewer systems are continually being upgraded (and presumably old systems are continuing to fail).
But no one disputes that the raw sewage total is high and unacceptable, and Johnson and Kuhn use the figure to make the case for doubling Governor Rell’s proposal to put $70 million in the Connecticut Clean Water Fund.
Getting back to basics and meeting our clean water goals will require an investment of about $150 million in general obligation bonds during the next fiscal year. According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, the present level of funding will allow only one in seven projects that are ready to go this year to be funded. This will continue unless adequate funds are provided for the priority wastewater treatment projects in 73 municipalities.
Easing hypoxia in Long Island Sound is one reason to double the proposal. Stopping the flow of raw sewage that reaches the Sound and Connecticut’s rivers is another:
This year, sewage system operators expect a total of nearly 2 billion gallons of raw sewage to overflow into the Connecticut River and coastal harbors over about 50 rainy days.