We are collections of rivers
Rivers can be killed. As much as the inhabitants of a river/environment can be killed, so too can the life-giving processes of a river/environment. I specify environments as rivers, because all environments have flows of water (as well as nutrients, minerals, organisms, etc). In thus way, i distinguish a river from a waterway of any other type — nonliving.
Despite certain types internal plumbing cutting off the flow from anywhere outside pipes and storage tanks,, Wastewater treatment relies on introducing life (in bacterial forms) to digest our waste. The attempt at exclusion of all other life seems to be an attempt to reduce pollution, but seems paradoxical, in that it severely limits the surface area capacity of the system (which living waterways grow with soil and roots and topology of all sorts.
The need for surface area is still known, in certain wastewater treatment plants, which use massive quantities of air bubbled up through wastewater to better support the bacterial digestion. What purpose does the isolation of waterflows serve? When in so many cases we see thatit is not a surefire solution to preventing pollution inside the system, and allows for outside flows to be silently criminalized or poisoned, or otherwise made impossible to access.
Of course, there are potential benefits of water pipe transportand wastewater management, but the way its been done in the USA seems to be only for the profit of private investors, for the benefit of colonial and imperial powers.