Poop and pee fueled the huge algae bloom in San Francisco Bay. Fixing the problem could cost $14 billion
After an unprecedented harmful algae bloom first turned San Francisco Bay a murky brown color and then littered its shores with dead fish, many people assumed it was yet another climate disaster to add to the list, along with extreme drought, wildfires and heat waves. While scientists suspect climate change played a role in triggering the bloom, what fueled it is not a mystery. Algae blooms need food to grow, and this one had plenty: nutrients originating in wastewater that the region’s 37 sewage plants pump into the bay. In other words — we wouldn’t have this problem without the poop and pee of the Bay Area’s 8 million residents.
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