The original post was a query about how water, sewage, and trash was handled in America, and the assumption was that this was NOT handled or not handled well: “My assumption was that all this must apply in America too. Seems I was wrong.”
Escargot, could you please share with us why you assumed that? And did you mean at a national level? Or state level? Did you read this somewhere? Could you give us a source for this? Etc.
Size of problem: about 2 million Americans do not have access to safe drinking water or to safe sewage treatment at their homes.
So, this works out to 6/10 of 1% of the population. Of course poor people are over-represented. However, this means that almost everyone – 99.5% - has access.
Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States_DIGITAL.pdf (uswateralliance.org)
Background of governmental intervention:
The US is a geographically large country of 330 million citizens with a legal mandate – the US Constitution – directing a hands-off government of its citizens. The individual states and the many Indian reservations all have the power to make their own rules about many things. Millions of our citizens choose
to live in small, ethnic/cultural communities, often in isolated, rural areas, and choose
to not move to an urban or even small town area with established utilities.
The Navajo Reservation, the largest in the country, is self-governing and has a culture of living in geographic isolation. Their nation is divided into and governed by local chapter houses. The chapter houses have never been able to mandate sewage control – or the control of overpopulations of feral horses, too many cattle and sheep, and the livestock wandering loose on the roads. (The US Federal government typically gives $3-5 billion/year in aid to native Americans. In 2019, there were 2.8 million native Americans.) I stay on this reservation a few times a year and am aware of how these things actually play out in real life.
The laws for water, sewer, and trash utilities are split between the Federal government, which establishes goals and minimum degree of safety, and the states which have the right to establish utilities following the Federal guidelines. The smaller governments, at the county, city, and township level, are responsible for their part as well. All new homes in the US which are built for others to live in are strictly inspected for proper codes regarding water, sewer, electric, etc.
Illegal homes are often built in isolated rural areas which do not follow codes. Dealing with the types of people who live in them is an ongoing public expense and frequently requires police intervention. Repeatedly.
For the Rancho Vista, Texas, residents with intestinal worms: the children do not wear shoes and play in yards with animal feces. I personally see this within 5 miles of my home in Arizona in Mexican-American communities (dogs, chickens, goats).
US population density: 36 persons/square KM; UK population density: 281 persons/square KM
The UK is almost 8 times as densely populated as the US. I have looked at the UK on google earth and the entire country is mostly either housing for people or farms (71%) to feed them. The geographic proximity of the population means that the cost of installing utilities is much less per household than in the US, because the homes are much closer together in the UK.
United States Population (2023) - Worldometer (worldometers.info)
U.K. Population (2023) - Worldometer (worldometers.info)
Agriculture in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
I would guess, but don’t know, that the situation in Canada is similar to that of the US. Many semi-autonomous native settlements, many ethnic/cultural communities of immigrants, etc.
I pay $100/month for internet connection and $60/month for cell phone.
So, fellow Forteans, how much would you be willing to have your taxes raised to ameliorate such situations for strangers?