New York City has truly amazing infrastructure when it comes to handling the city’s waste needs. That’s not the case throughout much of the country, as this New York Times article reveals. In more rural parts of the country, families in poverty are going without even the fundamental basics of a septic system. In some instances, household toilets are not hooked to a septic system at all: drainage pipes simply discharge the waste onto the ground. The census has found that many homeowners also don’t have hot or cold running water available to them in their homes.
As a Manhattan plumber, these aren’t challenges I see on a day to day basis. But it is concerning that this is happening anywhere. The first concern is obviously health. Waste materials attract flies and other insects, which feed on the waste and then fly off, spreading disease wherever they go. These can be really serious, life threatening conditions, including cholera and dysentery. E Coli, Norovirus and even parasites are also concerns. Having adequate septic systems in place is important not only to homeowners but to the entire community.
Let’s look at what it means to not have hot or cold running water in your home. If this happened to you in your NYC home, you’d call in your New York City Emergency Plumbing Service and it wouldn’t take long to get to the cause of the problem. It could be an issue of a clogged supply line, or perhaps the water heater is broken. But that’s not what is happening in these rural locations. This lack of water comes from the fact that homeowners don’t have access to a well, or the well pump is broken and too expensive to repair, or nearby fracking or industrial activity has rendered the water unsafe to drink.
New Yorkers know how to solve problems. We’ve been through so much over the years and know how to come back from a crisis. I bring this story to your attention mostly in the hopes that one or more of you will know what needs to be done to change this situation for the better. Share this with your friends, and please let us know if you are involved with any groups that are addressing this!