NEXT New England
About This Show
NEXT is a weekly radio show and podcast about New England, one of America’s oldest places, at a time of change. It’s hosted by John Dankosky at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut. Through original reporting and interviews, we ask important questions about the issues we explore: where are we now? How did we get here? And what's next?
Most Recent Episode
Episode 42: Overflow
From Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River, overtaxed sewage systems are being pushed to filter out more pollutants. This week, we look into what it takes to clean up our water systems. We also revisit Boston’s aborted Olympic bid in search of lessons about urban planning and civic engagement. We follow the journey of an aluminum can, and meet a DIY Youtube star from the woods of Maine.
The mouth of the Connecticut River. The Amtrak Old Saybrook-Old Lyme bridge is the last crossing before the river meets Long Island Sound. Nitrogen runoff from soil upriver is responsible for fish die-off in the salt waters of the sound. Photo by Ryan Caron King for NENC
Influent and Effluent
Springfield Water and Sewer Plant Manager Mickey Nowak gives a quick biology lesson, explaining how bacteria found in sewage is currently denitrified at the plant. Photo by Jill Kaufman for NENC
By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new limits on the amount of nitrogen that wastewater treatment plants in Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire can release into New England’s largest river, the Connecticut.
These new rules could mean a small tweak of the system, or a costly plant retrofit. No one knows for sure until the limits are announced.
Nitrogen is a nutrient in soil, but when it reaches salt water it becomes a pollutant. And it’s nitrogen that’s blamed for fish die-offs in Long Island Sound, where the Connecticut river ends. New England Public Radio’s Jill Kaufman has our story.
A combined sewer overflow outfall in Rutland, VT. When there’s too much rain in the lines, the system starts working differently. Instead