Old, leaky, inadequate treatment plants are part of this story (infrastructure under-investment has been epic during the past decade of ‘financialization’ obsession), but the epidemic use of pharmaceuticals for every ‘dis-ease’ rather a focus on nurturing health is the main piece. We are poisoning ourselves and everything around us in the process. Time to shift tactics? See Drugs found in Puget Sound salmon:
Puget Sound salmon are on drugs — Prozac, Advil, Benadryl, Lipitor, even cocaine.
Those drugs and dozens of others are showing up in the tissues of juvenile chinook, researchers have found, thanks to tainted wastewater discharge.
The estuary waters near the outfalls of sewage-treatment plants, and effluent sampled at the plants, were cocktails of 81 drugs and personal-care products, with levels detected among the highest in the nation.
The medicine chest of common drugs also included Flonase, Aleve and Tylenol. Paxil, Valium and Zoloft. Tagamet, OxyContin and Darvon. Nicotine and caffeine. Fungicides, antiseptics and anticoagulants. And Cipro and other antibiotics galore.