Now is the time for the U.S. to update its approach to water treatment, says Bob Perciasepe, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deputy administrator. “[The challenge] is how to get a 20th-century law—the Clean Water Act—appropriate for 21st-century projects,” he said at the Water Environment Federation’s annual meeting, held on Oct. 3-7 in New Orleans. When water-quality standards were first developed during the 1960s, problems such as high nitrogen and phosphorous levels as well as pharmaceuticals and other endocrine disruptors were not considered. Perciasepe said that implementing and enforcing Total Maximum Daily Load standards for contaminants are the best way to
The 2016 Summer Olympics boating and swimming events have put an international spotlight on what has been a long-running problem in Rio de Janeiro—untreated sewage and trash are clogging up major bays and waterways.