Unintended Consequences

Dave Killion — March 3, 2011

San Francisco has been so successful in its push for low-flow toilets that ‘sludge’ is backing up in the sewer lines due to lack of water. The stink is formidable. As is the solution: use 8.5 million pounds of bleach annually to sanitize the drinking water, and to disinfect the city’s treated water before dumping it into the bay. What could go wrong? I don’t know, but I suspect the taxpayer will wind up paying mightily for the water saved by those toilets.

Victoria faced a similar situation recently, where we all pitched in and conserved water like the good citizens we are, only to be told that revenue from water consumption had dropped so low that the government agency that supplied water didn’t make enough money to cover its operating costs. So we had to pay an extra charge… for the water we didn’t use…

Any way, I can hardly wait to see what it’s going to cost Victorians to NOT use the city storm sewers. I suspect that through government efficiency, we can look forward to one day paying more than ever for using no services at all.

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