Modern wastewater infrastructure is a vital part of everyone’s daily lives, protecting Americans from waterborne diseases and preserving the nation’s waterways as ecological, recreational, and commercial assets. When working properly, these pipes and treatment facilities go largely unnoticed. But when extreme weather such as Superstorm Sandy cause treatment facilities to fail and sewers to overflow, the cleanup costs and threats to public health can be severe. As climate change exacerbates the most severe weather and speeds sea-level rise, deficiencies in wastewater infrastructure will become harder to ignore—and increasingly costly to clean up after failures.
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