Press gives Fiesta Island dried sewage black eye

America's Finest Sludge

That gooey stuff spread out all over Fiesta Island may look like dried sewage and smell like dried sewage, but to Susan Hamilton, deputy. director of San Diego's clean water program, it's a precious commodity. Miffed over a TV broadcast that castigated San Diego's Point Lorna plant and other facilities for dumping sludge on an Indian reservation, Hamilton told Sludge magazine that bad press "gives sludge.a black eye,. We like to think 'of our sludge as a natural resource." Hamilton argued that the PrimeTime Live camera crew added insult to injury by fol-. lowing trucks belonging to a Florida septic-tank company as they dumped raw sewage into a ditch. While cameras rolled, ABC's Diane Sawyer discussed hepatitis and tuberculosis threats posed by the material. She ended her broadcast with the disclaimer, "All the materials you've seen in our report can be safely and legally disposed of or recycled," but Hamilton is not placated. "We're worried about sludge being characterized as a toxic waste."

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