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Los Angeles Times article on the transformation of pathogens in sewage treatment plants

Deadly superbugs from hospitals get stronger in the sewers and could end up in the Pacific Ocean Read here



We now have TWO readers

Volume I (1.3MB PDF) focuses on drugs, hormone-mimicking chemicals and unpredictable chemical reactions inside partially treated sewage.

Volume II (2.6MB PDF) focuses on emerging pathogens, DNA and other biological dangers in partially treated sewage.


Partially treated sewage contains UNKNOWN chemical dangers. NO ONE KNOWS what is in it due to unpredictable chemical reactions that can take amongst the pollutants that remain AFTER treatment. This clear danger is called "emerging toxicants." It is impossible for anyone to know if partially treated sewage is safe.

Read the article in the O.W.L. reader Volume I: Transformation of Acetaminophen by Chlorination Produces the Toxicants 1,4-Benzoquinone and N-Acetyl-pbenzoquinone Imine.

What does this mean? It means that ordinary TYLENOL® when exposed to chlorine can produce two new poisons neither of which entered the waste stream. In other words, partially treated sewage JUST SITTING THERE is making new UNPREDICTABLE poisons. This hazardous material should never be released into waterways or dumped on ground where it might contaminate an underground aquifer.

It's not just TYLENOL® that remains in partially treated sewage. We know that both legal and illegal DRUGS remain in partially treated sewage. What happens when VIAGRA ® mixes with Prozac® and all the chemo therapy drugs consumed by Sonoma County citizens? No one has any idea, not the Sonoma County Water Agency, not the City of Santa Rosa or Rohnert Park not any of the major polluters. These polluters refuse to FULLY TREAT sewage because it's too expensive. But it's not too expensive for people who are issued building permits to build new toilets and build new sinks and build new bathrooms and then walk away with millions of dollars in profit. Rohnert Park actually has plans to build 4,500 more houses and several million square feet of commercial space with no better idea for getting rid of the sewage these places will create than dumping it in huge lakes, pouring it into the Russian River and the Laguna de Santa Rosa and spreading it out on groundwater recharge land. Windsor plans to clear cut 1,500 trees to build a 26 acre lake of partially treated sewage. Most of our cities have similar plans all condoned by the Water Agency and its Board of Directors, who just happen to be the County Supervisors.

A family of chemicals called phthalates also remain in partially treated sewage. Phthalates mimic estrogen the female hormone and can cause male fish to develop egg sacks (it's in the reader). Phthalates can, and have, deformed the genitals of male infants. No one knows if the ill-advised use of polluted wastewater accounts for the elevated risk of breast cancer in Sonoma and Marin Counties, but prudence dictates that we should know things like this BEFORE we spread it and dump it everywhere. If polluters do not want to study this then simply clean up the mess and remove the problem altogether. The choice is clear.

What does Orange County do? Orange County takes out ALL pollutants. PERIOD. In fact, the water is so pure that Orange County can safely use their FULLY TREATED water to restore depleted groundwater reservoirs. It's THAT pure. Orange County doesn't call their plant a sewage treatment plant, it's a GROUNDWATER REPLENISHMENT SYSTEM. Click here to see the Website.

The Sonoma County Water Agency and the cities within the county refuse to FULLY clean sewage. It's simply cheaper to risk your health. Instead they have plans to dump partially treated sewage on lawns, school yards, grape crops and into the Russian River, the Laguna de Santa Rosa, in fact anywhere just to get rid of it.

H.R. Downs
President, O.W.L. Foundation



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