A possible answer for preventing sewage from flowing into waterways in extreme weather

Originally posted on TED Blog:

During Hurricane Sandy, 10 billion gallons of raw sewage were released into the rivers, canals and bays of New York and New Jersey — and into homes and buildings that were flooded in the storm. This shocking number comes from a report by Climate Central. As reported in The New York Times earlier this week, the sludge would have been enough to cover Central Park in a 41-foot tall blanket of muck.

“Our sewage infrastructure isn’t designed to handle this type of storm surge,” explained Dr. Alyson Kenward, the principal author of the report.

Right before Hurricane Sandy, architect Ate Atema gave a talk in the TED office (part of our then-new TED@250 series) with an idea for something that might alleviate this very problem in cities like New York: street creeks.

In this talk, Atema explained that “CSO” does not stand for Chicago Symphony Orchestra — it…

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