WIRED | 2/21/2019 | Michael Hardy
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Philadelphia utilizes sand filtration. Los Angeles? Aeration discs. Almost every city uses waste-eating microorganisms. The Clean Water Act of 1972 mandated that every municipality in America must clean its sewage before discharging the water back into rivers, lakes, or the ocean. Today, there are around 16,000 publicly owned wastewater treatment plants in operation across the country, all of them responsible for transforming what we flush down the toilet into something useful—or at least something not actively harmful.

Chicago-based photographer Brad Temkin became interested in water treatment infrastructure while working on a previous project about rooftop gardens. One of the purposes of such gardens is to absorb rainwater, thus reducing runoff and street flooding. That got him wondering what happens to all the rainwater that isn't captured, which led him to ask permission to photograph Chicago's network of underground water tunnels. The more Temkin learned about water, the more he wanted to know. "We take it for granted," he says. "It's the most valuable resource we have, outside of air, and we just assume that it's always going to be there."

Temkin - Water - Treatment - Systems - Country

Temkin's quest led him to photograph water treatment systems across the country including Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, and Seattle. Each city faces a different set of challenges. In Houston, it's all about flood prevention, while for Phoenix, currently enduring its 19th straight year of drought, it's all...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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