Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Super Bowl Halftime Flush

Frederick Kaufman, "Wasteland: A Journey Through the American Cloaca." Harper's Magazine, February, 2008, p. 50.

[Steve Askew, superintendent of New York's North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, gave a tour of the plant to the writer, who learned that the greatest increase in the amount of incoming waste water] occurs between eight and nine in the morning, when the city's output swells from 70 million to 150 million gallons per day. This is known as the big flush. Now it was 11:00 A.M., and in a few hours the circadian flow of biology en masse would begin to diminish, eventually bottoming out around four in the morning, at 68 million gallons per day. The rhythm is as steady as the tides. "The Super Bowl halftime surge is a myth," said Askew.