Chicago water boss: if we took the sewage out of the Chicago River, people might swim and drown!

Terrence O'Brien, president of Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, has told the EPA that he doesn't think that Chicago should clean the mountains of toxic sewage out of the Chicago River, because if they did, people might swim in it and drown.

Making the Chicago River safe enough for swimming would waste taxpayer money and increase the risk of people drowning, officials who oversee the waterway said today…

Chicago is the only major U.S. city that fails to disinfect its sewage. The sharp contrast between the Chicago River and most other waterways can be summed up in part by tests for fecal coliform, a microscopic bacterium that indicates the presence of human waste and is measured in colony forming units, or CFUs.

Official: Cleaning Chicago River a waste of money

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: Sewer outlet, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from 48722974@N07's photostream)