In an article by the Star Tribune, author Jim Adams explained how much the sludge-infested ponds around the Metro area are going to cost to cleanup. In order to explain the exact damage and what needs to be done, Adams inundates his story with numbers.
The first use of numbers is in Adams lede, "Metro cities could be on the hook for $1 billion or more in cleanup costs in coming years as they grapple with contaminated sludge in storm-water ponds that dot the metro area." Using this number is important because it gives readers the approximate amount needed.
Adams also uses numbers to explain how many ponds are affected, "Unsafe levels of the compounds have been found in many of the metro area's 20,000 public collection ponds, which receive water from streets and parking lots after rainfall." He reveals further what information was gathered through testing and gives a specific amount of ponds, "Nine of 15 ponds sampled by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) a few years ago had unsafe levels of the compounds."
In this statement, Adams uses numbers in several different ways - an amount of ponds, the exact size of sediment and the monetary amount associated. "When the city of Inver Grove Heights tested 10 ponds this year, it found two with unsafe levels. The cost to clean up just one of them, which had 7,000 cubic yards of tainted sediment, was estimated at $450,000."
Adams' use of numbers in his story is very direct and informative. He is clearly well-versed on the subject and knows his facts to give to interested readers. Though Adams uses numbers in every paragraph, he does it to benefit the reader - it is not too overwhelming, but instead, very informative.
Adams does use math to crunch numbers to tell the story effectively here, "The agency estimates that even if only 10 percent of the metro area's ponds have unsafe pollutant levels, it would cost more than $1 billion to clean them up." His percentage comes from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which he sources at the beginning of his statement and throughout the article.