We are Entering the Time When Shit Can No Longer Flow Downhill

Read Time:1 Minute, 30 Second

I have a septic tank, and I’ve had a septic tank in one yard or another for about 40 years and have rarely had a problem, particularly when I learned regular cleanouts and aerators were a huge scam.  Unfortunately, there’s a different problem these days thanks to climate change.

The problem with septic systems is not just another seemingly distant threat due to climate change. Nope. It’s all happening right now; and, yes, it is projected to get worse. The inevitability of rising sea and groundwater levels is causing sewage backups in homes from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Coast. Besides backfilled toilets and stinky backyards, raw sewage is mixing with groundwater, threatening habitats and human health, plus widespread economic pain.

A Washington Post report focuses on two bays: Virginia’s Chesapeake and Florida’s Biscayne. The former is one bad hurricane away from undoing decades of intensive effort to save the bay; for the latter, septic seepage from Miami-Dade is already creating devastating algae blooms in “America’s only underwater national park.”

American septic systems are not faulty; the problem is that they were built to the standards of a time when precipitation and water levels were relatively static. In North Carolina’s Outer Banks, for example, groundwater levels are a full foot higher than in the 1980s; it doesn’t take that much to cause a septic tank to essentially flood and send raw sewage into the environment.

Unfortunately, solutions are prohibitively expensive for most communities and/or homeowners. Seeking innovation, Lewis Lawrence of the Middle Peninsula Planning District in Virginia is working to develop raised septic systems. He told the Post that, because of environmental changes, “We’ve got to be reimagining and designing our communities differently.”

I think I’m going to look into that.

About Post Author

Michael John Scott

Mr. Scott is a political junkie, and animal lover. He is also a U.S. Army veteran, career law enforcement executive, and university professor. Did I mention he loves dogs? A lot?
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Did you like this? Share it:
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
6 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
anynameleft
2 months ago

1) When one says “above ground” septic systems I assume to systems that are raised above ground level on some sort of platforms etc, since simple “aboveground” sitting at surface level and built up exist but would be worthless in flood condititions.
2) Having worked in fisheries and dealing with area that are closed because of failing/inadequete systems I encountered a theory that sadly enough seems to have some basis.
For years the Southern end of Hood Canal for has been closed for shellfish because of this issue. County et.al. (except for tribes) never did much about it.
Several long term residents mentioned that Navy usedto/still has(?) dump that drain into the headwaters of stream (very close) into to/foot of the Canal and reported that up to late ’70’s the navy dumped everything there from Bremerton Navy yard. Toxic wastes, heavy metals everything. A student from a local college did a thesis on the water qualirty and from limited results did find that waste in the area of the canal closed.
Hypothisis presented was no agency was doing anything about the systems because they were a usual mask for even more serious problems, Once they find overloads of fecal matter in run off they don’t bother to look much deeper. Espiacially in sediment.
A theory yes. Does seem to meet standards of Occam’s razor appears to. Proven fact – eh needs more but it does present a working hypothesis to move forward from.

professor pupdog
2 months ago

Years ago I did a series of maps showing suitability for septic systems in the Piedmont of Maryland. I learned a lot about how to do it right, and how it was done. I would say that problems were due less to climate change than due to inappropriate siting and design, bad maintenance, and the assumption that anything that was flushed down the toilet disappeared from the cosmos. Not to mention things like, “Oh, those pipes should have been perforated?”

2 months ago

[…] John Scott explains why septic tanks and a host of other systems with a long history of reliability are now failing. […]

2 months ago

Store it in barrels and ship it to Mar-A-Lago

Rockync
2 months ago

Awesome, another disaster of our own making! I have lived in rural areas all my adult life and I have never had anything but a septic system. Not something you think about much. When it starts to back up you have it pumped. You make sure your kids and teenage girls know not to try to flush everything down the toilet. And you should always know where the tail lines are if you are doing any excavation work. Other than that, septic systems just going along doing their job until they don’t. Then the costs to replace is wildly expensive and can be too much financially for many people, especially the elderly and new homeowners with small children. In vulnerable areas that are closer to sea level, having to install an engineered system, whole communities could end up foreclosed on or with homeowners deeply in debt. And if the climate deniers are still in charge of tax dollars, there will be no help from the government.

james j brefeld
2 months ago

Above ground composting toilets!

Previous post Brooklyn Subway Attack Not A False Flag Operation
Next post Is It Democracy or Is It Oligarchy?
6
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x