National Geographic : 1978 Jan
One dreams of crystal waters. Another talks cost. Which is most important? Generations have used our waterways for recreation, barg ing, garbage disposal. Many riv ers, lakes and streams so fouled by sewage and wastes they literally stink from abuse. Yet, water is essential for health, manufacturing, for outdoor fun. No wonder enthusiasts demand "clean up the despoiled water ways regardless of cost." But the dollars are frightening. Modernizing a plant to treat waste water for 100,000 people can run $40 Million. And there's the con tinuing job of maintaining and running a facility which only con trols "man-made" waste. When you talk erosion runoff, muddying our waters or total clean up, the whole job may be beyond eco nomic feasibility. Agreed, we can't use our waterways as open sewers. We must protect them from damaging levels of impurity. It can be done as proven by Oregon's Wil lamette, the Houston Ship Chan nel and elsewhere. But we must recognize a natural capacity of our waterways to carry on the purification work begun in mod em treatment facilities. We must set, and work to, realistic guidelines for future, attainable clean water goals. Support your community in its efforts to keep our waterways clean. Caterpillar machines help build sewage treatment systems, ter races and levees controlling run off pollution. We believe in a reasoned approach to managing America's waters. There are no simple solutions. Only intelligent choices. Caterpillar Cand areTrademrksof Caterpill actor Caterpillar,Catand01are Trademarks ofCaterpillarTractorCo.