I know sea level rise has been declared illegal in North Carolina, but that doesn't change the fact that it is happening ... and accelerating. For a practical look at the consequences for infrastructure (especially sewage systems), take a look at this excellent story at North Carolina Health News. It's a sobering reminder that the people in charge of our government are, for the most part, clueless fools with their heads stuck in the sand.
For Brian Roth, the mayor of Plymouth, any political back and forth about sea level rise holds little interest. Plymouth lies at the mouth of the Roanoke River, and Roth sees the water rise every time the community weathers a storm.“The road to our sewer treatment plant is a quarter mile long,” said Roth. “And we can’t get out there when it rains. The roads go underwater. Our public infrastructure goes underwater more than our residences.”
Rising water, whether due to sea-level rise or a storm surge, threatens the public health infrastructure of North Carolina’s coastal communities. From standing water, to corroded sewer pipes, to over-flowing waste treatment sites, sea level rise has direct effects on the underground network of pipes and pumps that keep human waste away from potable water.
Sewage treatment plants located just
above sea level are at risk of contaminating
local waterways during flood events.
Image courtesy David Weekly, flickr creative commons