A properly functioning septic system has plenty of soil between the tank and the groundwater to ensure filtration. Image courtesy of UGA Carl Vinson Institute.
A properly functioning septic system has plenty of soil between the tank and the groundwater to ensure filtration. Image courtesy of UGA Carl Vinson Institute.

When we talk about sea-level rise, it's usually in terms of flooding: homes destroyed, roads impassable, cities threatened. We discuss often how communities can protect themselves from the physical encroachment of water above-ground. But one pressing concern that gets far less attention lies underground: what we do with our waste.

Rising seas and increased precipitation pose a serious threat to septic systems. Meanwhile, municipal sewer systems struggle to keep up with the pace of development and have already shown signs of failure in the face of hurricanes.

This collaborative reporting project of Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Savannah Morning News will dig into the state of Coastal Georgia's septic and sewer systems, evaluate the risks in the face of climate change, and look for solutions.

Project image courtesy of UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

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