San Francisco Battles Odor of Low-Flow Toilets

It's going to start treating wastewater with lots of bleach
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2011 2:29 PM CST
There's a lot of this going around in San Francisco, apparently.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The good news is that San Francisco's embrace of low-flow toilets has cut annual water consumption by 20 million gallons. The bad news is the smell. Because the water doesn't have enough oomph to push waste out of sewer pipes, a not-so-pleasant odor wafts throughout the city at times, explains the San Francisco Chronicle. As a remedy, the city plans to buy $14 million of concentrated bleach—a 3-year supply—to disinfect wastewater before it goes into the bay. That's on top of a $100 million investment to upgrade plants over 5 years to cut down on the stink.

The new solution "translates into 8.5 million pounds of bleach either being poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year," notes the Chronicle. Adds a blogger at Cafe Mom: "For a city that believes Happy Meals are evil attempts to contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic, you’d think San Francisco would have a problem with bleach being dumped into the ground. Apparently, the most liberal city in the country only cares about the environment so long as it doesn’t smell like sewage." Click for the full column. (Read more San Francisco stories.)

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