Letter Re: Sanitation Concerns for Grid-Down Disasters

Dear Mr. Rawles,
I have an indelicate question that I’d like to ask you and your readers:  In a Schumer Hits the Fan (SHTF) situation, literally, what happens to the aforementioned waste products in our sewer?  If a sewer plant loses power, does it all back up and exit through all our residential toilets connected to that pipe?  Does it back up and enter nearby streams and rivers that we would be relying on for water?  Once trapped in a backed up sewer drain, could explosive methane gas be formed to further complicate the disposal of waste and even be a danger to city dwellers – particularly those in high rise apartments?  Your thought and advice in this matter would be appreciated.  Thank you, – Rod McG.

JWR Replies: I addressed that issue in my reply to a “hunker down in the city” letter from a reader, posted in 2007. Yes, there will be a public health crisis in the cities just few days, especially if the onset is during summer months. I strongly recommend getting out of urban areas as soon as possible, in a disaster.