When a 90+ year old water main broke under the campus of UCLA yesterday afternoon, spewing up to 10 million gallons of water in the air and down streets like waterfalls, it looked like this.
USA Today reported that in some places, up to seven feet (!) of water was being diverted into storm drains, which would drain to nearby waterways carrying any surface pollutants along with it.
Had something like this happened in a combined sewer community, where stormwater and sewage flow in the same pipe—like in Cleveland—it would have inundated treatment plants (treating a majority of it) and risked overflowing into the environment.
To think that all of this water and wastewater is flowing under your feet in pipes deep underground at any given time, typically without any thought from residents on the surface, is simply amazing.