In what might be the government equivalent to a friendly “take a shower, bro” at the gym, the city of Memphis, Tennessee has agreed to spend $250 million over a decade to fix and update its sewer system as part of a settlement. Apparently, the occasional overflow of untreated sewage was becoming a big problem in Memphis. Gross. The federal government, in particular the EPA, undertook litigation to force Memphis to fix these problems. On Monday, Memphis settled, paying a $1.29 million civil penalty (half of which will go right back to unrelated Memphis-bettering infrastructure projects) and agreeing that raw sewage is disgusting and probably shouldn’t be spewing out willy-nilly from time to time.
As to what extent these $250 million improvements will go is unclear. At least part of it will be to develop a “comprehensive fats, oil, and grease program”, which makes you wonder why there wasn’t one in the first place. This article shows images of a person actually kayaking through backed-up foamy white sewage sludge byproduct. In light of that repulsive fact, maybe the best course of action would be to have the TVA come in and toss a dam in there to fix everything up.