Currently in Boston — October 14th, 2022
A strong cold front will bring an area of rain to southern New England Thursday night and early Friday morning. Warm and humid air is in place ahead of it. Temperatures will remain near 60°F all night. The rain will quickly approach Boston by mid-morning Friday and I expect nearly all of the showers to be over by afternoon. There could be some clearing for the evening hours. Humidity levels will drop but temperatures will not be very cool staying 65°F to 70°F. The weekend is looking fantastic with lots of sunshine and highs ranging from 65°F to 70°F in the afternoon after cool mornings. Some wet weather is likely again Monday.
What you need to know, currently.
One of the more insidious byproducts of sea level rise is the way it will affect groundwater. A new study, that was presented at the Geological Society of America yesterday, found that North Carolina’s septic systems were particularly vulnerable. As groundwater rises, bacteria and waste will rise to the surface — mingling with drinking water and backing up into residents’ houses.
As climate change increases the probability of extreme precipitation, even inland sewer systems will be at risk. Philadelphia, for example, has a combined sewer system that transports both storm runoff and wastewater and leaves it vulnerable to flooding during extreme rainfall events like the remnants of Hurricane Ida that hit the Northeast last year. The UN estimates that only 48 percent of sewage systems worldwide adequately treat wastewater and climate change will complicate things, even for well-functioning systems.
The study focused on Nags Head, North Carolina and found that homes that were less than 2.6 meters above sea level were significantly more likely to have trouble. Part of the issue is regulatory — although the insurance industry is beginning to catch up to rising seas, rising groundwater further inland is often overlooked and regulations are outdated.
“Homeowners need to get their systems inspected and pumped every three to five years, depending on how many people live in the home,” Mary Lusk, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, told the Apopka Voice. “This will help keep the system working at its best even during heavy storms or other disasters. But if you see waste backing up in the toilet or bathtub, or if the area around your septic system stinks, that’s a sign that it’s not working correctly, and you should call a professional septic system inspector right away.”
What you can do, currently.
- Start funding climate solutions by joining our partner, Wren. More than 10,000 Wren members fund projects that plant trees, protect rainforest, and otherwise fight the climate crisis every month. Sign-up today and they’ll plant 10 trees in your name for free.