Nice pic going around of the feral South American capybara that apparently lives in the sewage ponds at Paso Robles, in Central California. But to an environmentalist like Mark Gold, of Heal the Bay, the "settling pond photos look like something from before the dawn of sewage treatment technology."
And they are! The plant was built in the 1950s and has not been modified since then to provide nitrogen removal. The 3 million-gallon-a-day plant definitely needs a major overhaul and Paso Robles is considering joining the 21st century on wastewater treatment (an estimated $50M for adding filtration and denitrification).
Environment politics note: Kathryn Phillips was named director of Sierra Club California. She has been with the Environmental Defense Fund.