ALMOST every great city has a river. The poetic notion is that flowing
water brings commerce, delights the eye, and cools the summer heat. But
there is a more prosaic reason for the close affinity of cities and
rivers. They serve as convenient, free sewers.
The Potomac reaches the nation's capital as a pleasant stream, and
leaves it stinking from the 240 million gallons of wastes that are
flushed into it daily. Among other horrors, while Omaha's meat packers
fill the Missouri River with animal grease balls as big as oranges, St.