The Impact of Climate Change on Plumbing

September 14, 2022

As you may already know, the weather can significantly affect the condition and performance of even the most complex sewage systems. But did you know that the impact of climate change on plumbing is far more concerning? Read on to discover how our changing environment might negatively affect essential infrastructure like plumbing.

Changes to Soil Conditions

The biggest concern when it comes to climate change in relation to plumbing is soil erosion. Any sudden change in rainfall or water levels will easily disturb the soil and cause shifting. Soil is weakened further with extreme temperature fluctuations, a characteristic of climate change that destroys topsoil. Once the topsoil is diminished, the erosion process is accelerated.

All of these events compound and lead to poor, in-flux soil conditions. Seeing as water mains and other essential plumbing components rest underground, surrounded by this soil, a constantly changing environment has the potential to interfere with pipe placement.

Tainted Water Supply

These days, the idea of not having access to a reliable water supply seems unimaginable, but thanks to a process known as eutrophication, this situation is becoming more common for millions of people globally. Eutrophication occurs when nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants found in agricultural land run-off drains into a body of water and causes a boom in algal growth.

Algae increase so rapidly that their decaying bodies increase carbon dioxide levels throughout the entire body of water, causing odor and taste issues. More concerning, the increase in biomaterials and minerals makes it harder for treatment plants to clean the supply as their filters become less effective. The continuation of climate change is driven by pollution, and if unchecked, this pollution could taint the quality of our drinking water to determinantal levels.

More Regular Issues

There’s a common theme with climate change—“unprecedented” weather events and problems only become more regular as global warming progresses. Droughts, tropical storms, polar vortexes, and other natural disasters are becoming more common and, most concerningly, vastly more dangerous.

The impact of these events unnaturally changes our environments at a rapid pace and threatens the integrity of systems we’ve installed, such as plumbing systems. Ultimately, the greatest negative impact of climate change will be the issues we face repeatedly.

Unfortunately, the continuation of global warming will only cause more and more plumbing problems over time. If you suffer plumbing issues of your own and require water main leak repair, rest assured that our friendly team at Harris Main is here to help!

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