The Cities of North Providence and Johnston have come together for a common cause. The Sewer Infrastructures are in need of reassessments and improvement in order to rectify the dilemma of sea flooding issues, as well as basement backups. Both Cities are is in the process of evaluating the results of actions taken to address sewage overflows. Similarly, both are making water quality a priority in order to ensure the stability of the environment and how it affects their respective communities. Each community has experienced a similar condition relating to their local sewer pipes. Currently, the main issue is sewer system overflows and strategies are being devised to overcome the problem.
Several residential structures within Rhode Island’s 21 coastal communities are currently vulnerable to some level of flooding in the event of a 100-year storm, in the event of seven feet of sea level rise. Research shows that homes with basements have a significant issue as their boiler systems and hot water heaters are installed below ground level, where even a small amount of water can be problematic. Two-thirds of the homes evaluated in each community have basements, while only a small percentage are elevated. Building elevated structures will make neighborhoods safer when the risk of flooding occurs. The cities are also analyzing the layout of sewer lines, helping to determine the level of investment in infrastructure that should be made in what could eventually be part of a flood zone. And the extent of damage to any structure increases dramatically when higher seas are factored in. Studies have shown the number of buildings that would sustain 50 percent or greater damage more than quadruples with seven feet of sea level rise. The 50-percent gauge is noteworthy as any building with damage greater than that cannot simply be repaired but must be rebuilt in compliance with the latest building standards.