7 votes

Fast-rising seas could swamp septic systems in parts of the American South


  1. skybrian
    From the article: ... ...

    From the article:

    An estimated 120,000 septic systems remain in Miami-Dade County, their subterranean concrete boxes and drain fields a relic of the area’s feverish growth generations ago. Of those, the county estimated in 2018, about half are at risk of being “periodically compromised” during severe storms or particularly wet years.

    Miami, where seas have risen six inches since 2010, offers a high-profile example of a predicament that parts of the southeast Atlantic and Gulf coasts are confronting — and one scientists say will become only more pervasive — as waters continue to rise.


    Miami-Dade County is racing to replace as many septic tanks as possible, as quickly as possible. But it is a tedious, expensive and daunting task, one that officials say will ultimately cost billions of dollars they don’t yet have.


    In Georgia, officials have documented more than 55,000 septic tanks in counties near the Atlantic Coast in an ongoing data gathering effort. In North Carolina, researchers estimate, the discharge from approximately 1 million septic systems drains to waterways that eventually reach the ocean. In South Carolina, the issue has been the subject of legal fights and proposals in the state legislature.

    3 votes