Monday, 31 January 2011

living in filth?

People often go about their daily business and remain ignorant of the systems and methods we use to enable ourselves to live.

People who live in western countries are often oblivious as to why we live comfortable lives and places in developing countries are often squalid and filthy. Much of public health comes from clean water and effective waste water disposal.

I read today that the floods have damaged the Brisbane waste water treatment plant:

Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) director general John Bradley said Oxley Creek's enterococci levels, which indicate sewage contamination, were "250 times higher" than normal.

"Unfortunately there's nothing to stop that sewer outflow coming into Oxley Creek," he told ABC Radio.

"Queensland United Utilities has a team of 60 people working around the clock to get the plant back online.

"But that's still likely to be six weeks before they have got disinfection processes in place to remove the sewage contamination."

Mr Bradley said there were concerns for the health of fish. "Queensland Health have advised people to avoid coming into contact with water in the Brisbane River system and also Moreton Bay," Mr Bradley said.

its lucky for us we have separation of water supply and waste water treatment, unlike some areas of Australia where the water supply comes from the river ...

So we need to be careful in our planning and building that we don't make our systems fragile enough that they can be destroyed by a natural disaster and have us all living in filth.

Think about how long it would take Brisbane (let alone Sydney or Melbourne) to become unlivable if utilities such as:
  • water
  • waste water
  • garbage
  • transport

broke down.

We'd quickly be living in filth

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