Originally published in the Washington Post Blogs, June 12, 2012
Flushing: We all do it, mostly without any thought beyond the pipe leading away from our home. But if you follow what spirals out of sight down a toilet or household drain, the end of the line for that human wastewater is the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay for a large portion of Fairfax County residents. In the 1960s, the Potomac was green from the algae and bacteria of human sewage and storm runoff.
Piloting an open-top fishing boat out to designated monitoring locations, Chris Jones, the director of George Mason University’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC), monitors today’s wastewater as it re-emerges from pipes and rejoins natural space in Gunston Cove. The center has been working to clean up the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay since 1980. [end of excerpt]
Read the full article on the Washington Post website.