As late as the early 1800 sewers systems in much of the world consisted of throwing the waste products out the window into the streets and hoping the rains washed them away. Today (at least in this country) we have nice modern sewers systems that keep our streets clean and the waste is treated before it goes back into the environment. This helps to keep us healthy by maintaining good sanitation and hygiene. We almost always have access to good water and waste disposal systems.
Now if you live in the country and have your own septic tank most of this post will probably not apply to you. But for the majority of us who are on municipal sewer systems, we may have a problem.
While our sewer systems today are great, much of the operation depends on electric power. In the old days, sewer systems worked by gravity. Today homes are built in areas that require the use of pumps to move the sewage uphill. If the power grid collapsed today, many areas would be subject to waste backing up into homes. If you live in a low-lying area and the people above you continue to use the sewer system, waste may back up into your home.
I wrote a post in the past on how to plug your sewer line to keep the main line from backing up into your home. More on Sewer System Problems If I lived in a low area this is one of the first things that I would do. Check on your sewers system and you will find that pumps are more prevalent than you might suspect.
Now that you have prevented the sewer from backing up into your home, depending on what your neighbors do there will still be waste to dispose of. You as a prepper will probably have a plan to deal with it. But what about your neighbors? Their misuse of waste can endanger you. Ground water will become contaminated. This is one of the reason you need both water storage and the best water filter you can afford. Soap and other hygiene supplies will be in great demand.
Everytime there is a major natural disaster or a war that impacts cities this situation occurs. Today in the Eastern Ukraine where the fighting has heavily damaged the cities this problem is occurring. Sewer systems and treatment plants are damaged or shut down, but people still produce waste. The biggest problem you may face won’t be the waste that you produce, but what is produced by your neighbors.
Remember that there are two systems in most cities, sewer systems and drainage systems. Learn about how the drainage system might affect you, if there are heavy rains and the system has failed.
Plan ahead and have what you need on hand.