Flood Stage

All day long it’s been raining. The river is crazy high.

Driving home, I saw three news vans parked at a scenic point, cameras aimed at the swollen Ohio.

There will be floods. Every year there are floods.

The floods make things rough on the city’s aging and non-EPA-compliant sewer system that co-mingles storm runoff with sewer flow. It’s something cities aren’t supposed to do, but apparently our city didn’t get the memo.

Or threw it in the trash. You’re not the boss of me.

After decades of non-compliance, the city was finally sued by the EPA . Now they have to fix things, and of course the burden of payment falls on current residents, who didn’t make the decision to ignore accepted practices (or common sense) but will pay for the bad choices of those who did. So it goes.

It’s not like city officials didn’t know they were dumping raw sewage directly into a river that is the source of drinking water for some three million people.

They knew. They just didn’t care enough to fix the problem until the EPA lawsuit forced their hand.

Can’t make me. Don’t want to.

It’s such a human response, to put off until we can put off no longer. Nobody likes to do maintenance. Which is why the hard-working Ohio River — known as Belle Rivière a mere 100 years ago — is today the dirtiest river in the country.

But tell me more, please, about how those government regulations are the real problem.