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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 25, 2007 12:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was Cleaning up their act. The next post in this blog is So what is Kate Brown up to?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

H2O news 4 U

The City of Portland Water Bureau has turned on its groundwater wells for the summer. Ick.

Meanwhile, the recent heavy dew has caused raw sewage to flow into the Willamette again. Double ick.

Comments (16)

You know, they used to say that sewage would only flow into the Willamette during periods of HEAVY rainfall. But it sure seems like the last few episodes have occured under extremely light rainfall amounts. That begs the question - is the current capacity of the system less? Or was sewage flowing into the river waaaaaaayyyy more often then previously announced? I'm just askin'

Or is it because of all of the in-fill and condo building that demand is higher than it used to be. Which if things are as close as they seem to be, it is just a matter of time before there will be sewage flowing into the river when there isn't any rain falling.

If we could only get that condo sewage to flow back to the source when it rains we could get their attention.

It's not so funny that anti-"sprawl" zealots preach that stopping sprawl saves the huge costs of expanding infrastructure such as sewage and water systems.
As if this UGB, infill, light rail, high density, ignore road capacity, smart growth alternative is better?
Or that infrastucture is better expanded this way?
Nonsense. Pile on all the ways money has been spent and wasted and we could have paid the costs of sprawl several times over, retained more affordable housing, provided families with more homes with yards and preserved Oregon's less urban livability.
Now we have a regional rat race and strained or failed infrastructure systems.

If we could only get that condo sewage to flow back to the source when it rains we could get their attention.

SoWa's proximity to the big pipe project and relatively low elevation suggests thay would be more vulnerable. And it will likely be coming from the neighborhoods above them, including Pill Hill. Now that would be irony.

But there are usually backflow preventers in the system that prevent the worst-case system failure. And high rises usually have ways to "save it up" (apologies if anyone is eating their dinner right now).

.... anti-"sprawl" zealots preach that stopping sprawl saves the huge costs of expanding infrastructure such as sewage and water systems.

New infill construction is not allowed to connect rain downspouts to the combined storm / sanitary system, even in neighborhoods with older homes that are so connected. I'm in one such infill home. And of course, any post-1950's suburb using Portland's sewer system will have separate sanitary and storm systems, so the increment from one sanitary hookup would be roughly equal to that of urban infill - there's no relative disadvantage for infill in that respect.

Adding roadways in order to support sprawl, though, brings with it much more runoff from impervious surfaces, and this runoff has gas, oil, etc. mixed in that causes water quality issues wherever it ends up. Infill is superior in that respect, because aside from driveway and sidewalks, the only incremental new runoff (usually only rooftop water) is cleaner and is disposed of on-site, so it doesn't end up mixed in with roadway runoff.

I'm in agreement with you that all the money wasted could have been put to better use. Just not for sprawl, though.

I'm just one brass fitting short of completing my full time kitchen sink filter.

We already rely on a similar filter in our fridge for a cold glass of water.

At least Randy is keeping us safe from transfats and masking tape. Let's hope the cryptosporidium and MBTE are just as easy to legislate against.

wow. it's so early. I am a big water drinker and I can always tell when they start mixing in the well water, it just doesn't taste nearly as good. I've tried to describe it and the best I can do is say it tastes flat and doesn't refresh me like the bull run. so sad and kinda scary.

"increment from one sanitary hookup"

Is that what they call it these days?

i wrote a modest proposal, and they put it here.

I was wondering what that new flavor was.

"ecohuman" lives in Northeast Portland and is a recent graduate of Portland State University's Urban and Regional Planning program."

That explains much.

it explains why i want Portland to conserve water and reduce the need for projects like the Big Pipe?

it explains why i want Portland to conserve water and reduce the need for projects like the Big Pipe?

Speaking of explanation, what is the relationship between "...conserv(ing) water and reduc(ing) the need for projects like the Big Pipe"?

Doesn't the Big Pipe attempt to handle the combined sewage and rainwater that currently overload the system? Where does conservation come in - low flow shower heads and toilets? They're already mandatory. I think the larger problem, by an order of magnitude, is the rain component.

No?

No.

what is the relationship between "...conserv(ing) water and reduc(ing) the need for projects like the Big Pipe"?

using less water means less water into the sewer. capturing water on your property means less water into the sewer.

Doesn't the Big Pipe attempt to handle the combined sewage and rainwater that currently overload the system?

yes. and that's no different than the rest of the 2,000 miles of sewer.

Where does conservation come in - low flow shower heads and toilets? They're already mandatory.

conservation means conserve any way you can. i'm advocating for the addition of rainwater harvesting, which would profoundly affect our system (in a positive way.)

I think the larger problem, by an order of magnitude, is the rain component.

exactly--and that's what I said. harvest the rain, provide most of our water needs, and we eliminate a significant percentage of the billions spent on a neverending upgrade/install/maintenance cycle of sewers.

or that's what I wrote over at the Oregonian site, i should say.

in short--collecting rain = reduction in sewer needs, among a host of other benefits.


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Miles run year to date: 220
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Total run in 2013: 257
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