When you go to a public swimming pool it's pretty much guaranteed that if anyone decides to have an accident while in the water, the public will be evacuated to avoid contamination and illness. It's just common sense, poop doesn't belong in public places!
Well, maybe one Canadian city didn't exactly get the memo. A section of Winnipeg's river system has literally been overwhelmed with foul sewage. It's so bad that locals will travel out of their way for water activties just to avoid this toxic river.
The problem has gotten so bad that the city is forced to get their drinking water from a lake 150 kilometres away.
To be exact, last month there was over 3.2 million litres of poop as well as rainfall runoff floating around in Winnipeg's river system. To put that into perspective, that's enough sewage to fill up an entire Olympic swimming pool.
So, what's the solution to this disgusting disaster? The city is planning to spend over $1 billion to greatly reduce the spills. This isn't an immediate fix though, as it's estimated to take at least two decades before a change is seen in the waters. Even then, the sewage will still not be completely eliminated.
The biggest cause for the poop epidemic is that Winnipeg uses a combined sewer system. Both raw sewage (what you do in the bathroom) and runoff from rain water and melted snow collect in the same pipe. You can see how there's a problem with this.
The city sends the combined water to a sewage treatment plant as often as possible, but during a very heavy rain season its sent directly to rivers.
The city is really pushing for a mass poop cleanup in the future. Unfortunately they're going to have to wait a couple decades before their river is officially "clean" again.