The Star Tribune's "Climate Change" Mania

Climate change in Minnesota creates septic tank headaches


Frozen septic systems are emerging as an unexpected consequence of climate change in Minnesota — one that is bedeviling homeowners across the state and could soon cost taxpayers more for the repair and maintenance of fragile rural roads. The cause is a dramatic long-term decline in insulating snow early in November and December. Combined with still-freezing conditions, that drives the frost line deep underground — well below septic pipes and drain fields. As a result, thousands of the half-million Minnesotans whose homes, cabins or businesses rely on underground septic tanks are facing a costly solution: pump their tanks more often and use their showers, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets less. And this year isn’t the worst in a recent history of freeze-ups, septic haulers say. The problem grows especially acute in March and April because Minnesota imposes local road weight restrictions for heavy trucks like the massive septic “honey wagons.” That can leave homeowners stranded as they watch their septic tanks fill up with nowhere for the liquid to go. Except back in the house.
High water opens sinkholes, shifts foundations in south Minneapolis


Jerry Mullin, who presented Wednesday night on behalf of the Lake Hiawatha area, said the problems there are similar to those around Nokomis. He cited sinkholes, settling houses and streets that stay flooded for days. “The common thread is that we have serious groundwater high-water table issues in this part of the watershed,” he said. “And it’s not well understood as to why these problems have arisen in the last five years.” In a letter to the DNR, Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, said heavy rains will become more common due to climate change. She also highlighted a number of infrastructure changes affecting the water flow. “I’ve represented this area for a long time,” Wagenius said. “People are telling me this has never happened before. And I’ve never heard of it before, either. So I trust what I’m hearing.”
Duluth's hidden creeks, under buildings and roads, increasing cause for worry


Greys Creek is one of 44 named streams trickling and sometimes gushing their way down Duluth’s steep hill toward the great lake. Early developers who valued land in the heart of the city simply built tunnels over parts of the streams, covering them up so they could erect buildings over them. “It was all about usable space and property a long time ago,” explained Todd Carlson, program coordinator in the city’s engineering department. But age and greater water flow caused by climate change and development up the hill have increasingly turned the tunnels into a maintenance worry for city utilities staff. If the wrong section fails during a storm, it can back up streams and cause flooding or undermine roads and create sinkholes. It’s a prominent issue during spring snow melt and heavy summer rains.
Comments: Image top is the cover of Steve Goreham's The Mad Mad Mad World of Climatism. The Star Tribune takes every opportunity to blame Climate Change! As Captain Renault famously stated Round up the usual suspects.

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