Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fort Wayne Combined Sewer Overflow

Well this week it was announced that the Federal Government and the city of Fort Wayne reached an agreement concerning the amount of raw sewage the city of Fort Wayne is dumping into the rivers. This is a topic I have blogged extensively about in the last couple of years.

Our sewers and stormwater systems were designed well over one hundred years ago. We are one of many cities that elected to have these two system overflow to each other. The Federal government has disallowed this and is in the process of requiring many cities to stop discharging large amounts of raw sewage into the rivers.

Basically Fort Wayne proposed to cut its raw sewage discharge by about 90% for a cost of about one quarter of a billion dollars over the next 18 years. The Federal government has accepted that. Realize that to lower the discharge the final 10% would have cost an additional quarter of a billion dollars!

It is currently estimated that sewer rates will triple over the next 18 years to pay for the infrastructure improvements that will be necessary to lower the sewage discharge into the rivers.

Just for the record, I told you this would happen. Several people scoffed at me and said that it wold not be this expensive...

One of the reasons I oppose frivolous projects like Harrison Square is the fact that I knew that lowering the discharge of sewage into the rivers would be very expensive.

The local news media did cover this story, for one day.

The fact that our sewer rates will be tripling got about the same amount of attention as did the fact the Matt Kelty's relatives paid for a Cruise for his family.

Mike Sylvester


fairplaybeach said...

It is big. It'd be interesting to see your top ten local stories of the year (& any other daily-ish local blogs for that matter if they're reading this).

Doug said...

What do you figure the libertarian position on something like sewer systems is, Mike?

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I think most Libertarians would agree that dumping raw sewage into our rivers is a bad thing. Libertarians believe in personal responsibility and I think most Libertarians would agree that we need to stop putting all of this raw sewage into our rivers...

My personal opinion is we should increase the sewer rates and at the same time cut un-needed Governemnt spending.


mtchharper said...

One good way of examining pollution of all types is to consider how costs are socialized.

When a producer of pollution causes a discharge into a waterway or the atmosphere, the cost of that pollution is "socialized" in that the cost of clean-up, contamination, health issues and the like is spread to everyone but the producer.

The producer avoids a cost and benefits.

Likewise, some government benefits are conferred on a few while the costs in taxes or fees or reduced property values are socialized to the many. (I would be interested in the examples of this your readers might cite).

A libertarian view is antithetical to such socialized costs.

bobett said...

We The People of Fort Wayne & around the area:

The 3-Rivers that converge in Fort Wayne are being polluted, by our old sewer systems.

It's a multi-million building project to get it to code.
Would'nt it be nice to nix the Harrison Square project in leiu
substantial return on investment?

bobett said...

Games on Mr. Harper:

What will you do now that you are
are elected?

It's in your court.