Keep Sewage Out of the Great Lakes

Billions of gallons of combined raw sewage and storm runoff are dumped into the Great Lakes every year. Bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in untreated sewage pose a significant health risk and are one of the causes of Great Lakes beach closings and swimming advisories.

Help keep untreated sewage out of the Great Lakes!

There is good news; many municipalities have plans to significantly reduce combined sewer overflows. But these plans are costly, and local governments often struggle to finance them.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) provides low-interest federal loans and flexible financing options to help local governments carry out much-needed wastewater management projects, but the fund faces severe cut backs this year.

Even in times of fiscal stress, cutting corners on clean water will only result in greater costs tomorrow.

Urge Congress and the president to support sustained and increased investment in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

Dear Congress and Mr. President,

Washington has made an unprecedented investment in the last three years to restore the Great Lakes from a legacy of damage. But there is still work to be done.

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Billions of gallons of combined sewage and storm runoff are dumped into the Great Lakes each year.

Raw sewage, trash and personal hygiene products along with industrial wastewater, household chemicals, urban runoff, herbicides and pesticides flow into the lakes after heavy rains. Bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in untreated sewage pose a significant health risk and are one of the causes of Great Lakes beach closings and swimming advisories.

The lakes deserve aggressive action from every community to reduce sewer overflows. But these plans are costly, and local governments often struggle to finance them.

I urge you to support sustained and increased investment in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The fund has been an important catalyst to leverage financing for communities around the Great Lakes.

Clean water is a smart investment. A study by the Brookings Institution found that every $1 invested in Great Lakes restoration leads to at least $2 in economic return. The longer these jobs wait, the more expensive the work gets - and the more our water quality suffers.

Please keep sewage out of the Great Lakes. Support sustained and increased investment in the CWSRF.

Thank you.
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