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水4.0:饮用水的过去、现在与未来 (双语Ch 5节选)

已有 1870 次阅读 2015-9-7 04:10 |个人分类:Water 4.0|系统分类:科普集锦| Water, chapter


Burning Rivers, Fading Paint, and the Clean Water Movement



In the 1960s, Edwin Chadwick, Victor Hugo, Karl Marx, and their fellow reformers campaigned vigorously for centralized systems to helpfarmers capture the nutrients in the sewage pouring out of rapidly growingcities. But by the end of the century the widespread availability of inexpensive synthetic fertilizers had taken away the economic incentives for sewage farming.1 Without a market for the nutrients, it was hard to justify doing anything other than discharging sewage directly to surface waters. In locations where sewage posed obvious threats to drinking water, cities tappednew sources in distant watersheds, or they built drinking water treatment plants equipped with filters and chlorine disinfection systems.


Although these measures were effective in fighting waterborne disease,they did nothing to reduce the foul smells of sewage-polluted waters. Incoastal cities located on rivers, such as London and Boston, where the odors ofsewage made downtown living unpleasant, individual sewers were hooked togetherin regional systems with outlets draining to the ocean.2 After these sewer networks were built, wastes discharged by upstream communities and local industries still caused smells along the waterfront, but the situation wasvastly improved a few blocks from the water.3



During the nineteenth century few people paid attention to the odors caused by sewage discharges until they penetrated residential areas. While it may be hard to fathom for those of us accustomed to museums, restaurant, and condominiums situated on expensive waterfront real estate, the urban waterfronts of the early industrial period were bustling, low-rent zones where loading docks, factories, and power plants prevented the public from approaching the water. Even if people could get there, they might not be ableto distinguish the smell of sewage from the boat exhaust, burning coal, livestock, rotting vegetables and other items that moved along the docks and sometimesfell into the water.4



(Last two paragraphs of Chapter 5)

The sewage treatment plants built during the twentieth century can bethought of as the third revolution in urban water infrastructure—Water 3.0. Gradual progress began with a recognition that cities were becoming too big torely on self-purification. Initially primary treatment plants were built as ameans of eliminating the aesthetic problems caused by oxygen depletion. But, aspopulation increased, more sophisticated treatment plants were needed to protect downstream drinking water supplies and aquatic ecosystems from the negative effects of sewage. Through the efforts of engineers at places like the Lawrence Experimental Station and the University of Manchester, reliable aboveground treatment processes were developed to harness the ability of microbes to purify water. But before the situation was perceived to be a major crisis, the publicwas reluctant to spend more than about a dollar a month per person to solve the problems posed by sewage. Ultimately, a public consensus to address sewage pollution at the national level coupled with a comprehensive set of laws and funding turned the situation around.



Our modern sewage treatment plants were built to eliminate oxygen depletion, and in achieving this goal they solved many of the more pressingproblems of the day. But as cities have continued to grow, it has become clearthat treatment plants also have to remove nutrients, toxin metals, and synthetic organic chemicals. Technologies are available to accomplish thesetasks, but like the transition from primary treatment to secondary treatment, retrofitting sewage treatment plants will require additional funds. In addition, the initial rush to build treatment plants meant that adequate provisions were not made tosupport the maintenance and upgrades needed to keep the network of water and wastewater treatment systems working in the future. Now that our attention hadmoved on to other challenges, like greenhouse gases and climate change,additional regulations and government grants are unlikely to provide all of themeans necessary to replace the worn parts and make the needed improvements. We must address these problems now if we wish to avoid reversing much of the hard-won progress of the mid- to late twentieth century.



ps. I typed up the English myself, so errors are possible.


[美]戴·塞德拉克 著

徐向荣 等    虞左俊 校





Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource

Paperback:March 31, 2015

by David Sedlak (Author)

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