Articles on Sewage

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Monitoring sewage for virus allows for a quick public health response if any polio is detected. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Sewage surveillance is the next frontier in the fight against polio

Polio can be circulating through a community long before anyone is paralyzed. Monitoring sewage for the virus lets public health officials short-circuit this 'silent transmission.'
The Hawkesbury’s waters look beautifully natural but treated sewage makes up to 20% of the river flow where the North Richmond Filtration Plant draws its water. Karl Baron/flickr

More of us are drinking recycled sewage water than most people realise

Perth is looking at recycling all its sewage in the city's future water supply. But many Australians' drinking water already contains indirectly recycled treated sewage.
News about the sewage and pollution in Guanabara Bay in Rio have caused health concerns among Olympic athletes. Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Brazil’s sewage woes reflect the growing global water quality crisis

Wastewater treatment systems around the world are hamstrung by outdated tests that don't identify a growing array of pathogens or identify the sources of pollutants.
In Africa, more than 315,000 children die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. Shutterstock

Africa is failing to close the gap on providing water and sanitation

There have been modest improvements in water and sanitation provision in Africa, but there is still a long way to go. Most citizens rate their governments’ performance in this sphere poorly.
Could municipal biosolids be a trove of tiny treasure? Heather Lowers, USGS Denver Microbeam Laboratory

Mining for metals in society’s waste

Mining waste rock from historic mines or even treated sewage to find useful metals and minerals could be a sustainable way to meet demand for these finite resources.
New Delhi’s Yamuna River, like much of India’s water, is polluted. The world urgently needs low-carbon ways to clean things up. EPA/Harish Tyagi

Let’s make sure that cleaning up the world’s water doesn’t send our climate targets down the gurgler

Much of the world still lacks access to proper sanitation and clean water - an issue that needs urgent action. But without low-carbon technologies, clean water could come at the expense of the climate.

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