Coastwide
via Pumps & Systems Magazine

USA - How High-Volume Water Pumps Can Save Cities From Rising Sea Levels

Cost-effective, high-volume water pumps can mitigate the effects of excess stormwater and groundwater if coastal cities act now.

More than 99% of the population in 252 coastal communities in the United States will have their homes submerged by 2050 if left ignored. That’s more than 126 million people and 40% of the U.S. population. But how can pumps help turn the tide?

Many coastal communities have a long history of stormwater flooding with varying solutions to handle it. Unfortunately, sea level rise due to climate change is quickly making these 100-year storm plans inadequate. The 100-year storm used to be a maximum limit, but now cities are hitting that mark more often and facing higher water volumes than ever before due to increasing storm severity and frequency. Additionally, due to saturation and sea level rise, coastal cities that are already at or below sea level during high tide are facing excessive erosion and higher groundwater tables. This means there is a greater risk of everyday “sunny-day flooding” if the water cannot be stored or dissipated into the ground fast enough.

The desire to live close to large bodies of water, be they a river, lake or the ocean, has always been a draw to homeowners—but at what risk? This often leads to overdevelopment and densely populated coastal towns. When more homes are built and the water collection system is overtaxed, many cities experience infrastructure failure. Municipalities are not focusing on the big picture. Unfortunately, many cities are built on antiquated, gravity-fed sewer systems that are ill-equipped to handle the larger demand. Due to age and stress, if there are leaks in the system or if rain and sewage is combined, rainwater entering the system adds to the volume of water that needs to be treated by a wastewater treatment plant before it can be discharged, which is a costly endeavor.

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