Friday, July 3, 2015

Lake Washington Used To Be A Polluted Mess Like The Trinity River But It Got Cleaned Up

Yesterday I found myself Wondering Why So Many Fort Worth Locals Think Tubing Polluted Water With Gators Is Funduring which I found myself reading the Wikipedia article about Lake Washington.

The Wikipedia article about Lake Washington had one paragraph that detailed in greater detail than I knew or remembered of how Lake Washington was restored to being a lake full of clean, clear water, safe for swimming and home to a lot of tasty fish.

Below is the paragraph I am talking about, under a heading of Water Purity...

Water Purity
Around 1900, Seattle began discharging sewage into Lake Washington. During the 1940s and 1950s, eleven sewage treatment plants were sending state-of-the-art treated water into the lake at a rate of 20 million gallons per day. At the same time, phosphate-based detergents came into wide-use. The lake responded to the massive input of nutrients by developing unpleasant blooms of noxious blue-green algae. The water lost its clarity, the desirable fish populations declined, and masses of dead algae accumulated on the shores of the lake. Citizen concern led to the creation of a system that diverted the treatment-plant effluents into nearby Puget Sound, where tidal flushing would mix them with open-ocean water. The diversion was complete by 1968, and the lake responded quickly. The algal blooms diminished, the water regained its clarity, and by 1975, recovery was complete. Careful studies by a group of limnologists from the University of Washington showed that phosphate was the culprit. Since then, Lake Washington has undergone major improvements, drastically improving the ecology and water quality, making the water twice as clear as it was in 1950.

Now, this is what I am thinking.

Here in Fort Worth, where there is no body of water twice as clear as it was in 1950, we have this entity called the Tarrant Regional Water District and its foster child known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, that being the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision Boondoggle, holding floating events in the Trinity River at a location they call Panther Island Pavilion, where there is no island or pavilion.

Spokesmen for America's Biggest Boondoggle, via their Panther Island Pavilion Facebook page, have propaganda-ized that getting wet in the Trinity River is no different than getting wet in your drinking water, what with your drinking water coming from the same source, that being Lake Eagle Mountain and Benbrook Lake. The PIP propaganda neglects to mention, however, that the water that comes out of your tap has been treated, unlike the water the Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats take place in.

If the Panther Island Pavilion Propagandists think the Rockin' the River water is as clean as drinking water, how about a publicity photo of all of them drinking a glass of water fresh out of the river. With chief PIP Propagandist, J.D. Granger, taking the first gulp.

With America's Biggest Boondoggle stalled in slow motion from its original goal of altering the course of the Trinity River, creating some sort of waterfront feature that will somehow spur economic development, but which has morphed into multiple variations of beer parties, some on dry land, some in water, is it not time to do some serious priority assessment?

Such as, why not make the #1 priority cleaning up the Trinity River, like Lake Washington was cleaned up? Figure out what causes the spike in e.coli when the temperature rises and fix it.

Again, why is that not the priority?

Recently I read a PIP Apologist opine something along the line that for years now critics have been whining that America's Biggest Boondoggle should not be encouraging people to get in that polluted river, when the fact of the matter is that over the years of The Boondoggle boondoggling thousands of people have gotten wet in that water without growing a third nipple or having their hair fall out.

So, I guess as long as no one comes out of the Trinity with an extra nipple or bald, all is good and it is totally aesthetically pleasing to get into that murky brown water where you can not see what is swimming with you, be it a turtle, a snake, a gator or a plume of cow manure.....


Steve A said...

Seattle also had a garbage dump just north of Husky Stadium. They still have methane burners in the UW parking lot where the dump used to be.

Steve A said...

I never knew Lake Chelan was a lake even before they built the dam. Who says the Internet doesn't have good info?

Durango said...

There is a dam at Lake Chelan? I did not know that. I've been at both ends of the lake. Must Google Lake Chelan Dam now.