I already talked about what will happen to the water system after the grid shuts down. In this article I will examine what will happen to the waste water system in the same situations.
Again, some basic information. The basic components of a sewage system are gravity sewers, lift stations, forcemains and treatment facilities. The gravity sewers are what your house connects to and they flow to lift stations. The lift stations pump through forcemains to the treatment facility.
Here the bottle neck isn’t the treatment facility like it is with potable water. With waste water the critical part is the sewage lift station. These are chambers installed at all the low points in the collection system where everything flows by gravity. In my system fifteen minutes without power results in flooded streets and/or basements and/or polluted rivers.
The generators have a seven day supply of fuel. The severity of the disaster and it’s effect on my ability to resupply is the only weak point.
There are two exceptions, an earthquake that beaks the system that creates leaks all over and a flood or storm surge that overloads the system. With these two there will be sewage everywhere very quickly. Once the sewage gets spread everywhere shortly afterwards comes disease. It will be very hard to maintain any sort of personal hygiene in this scenario. If you can keep the inside of you shelter clean then you will need a decontamination area to prevent the tracking of pathogens everywhere. Decontamination will take massive amounts of disinfectant and clean water. Will you have enough? Even with decontamination you may still get infected with something when you are outside and infect the others in your family or survival group.
The reality is once the sanitation system fails it is only a matter of time before you will get sick. Look at cities throughout history, when they get overly dirty they become rampant with disease. Do you want to be in town to see that? If you haven’t left yet, now is the time to leave. Go anywhere clean because it is better than living in a toilet.