One of the most important municipal considerations of new housing development is the adequacy of the surrounding infrastructure, specifically sewers. The rapid pace of housing development over the past several years has taxed the ability of municipalities to handle the extra volume (er..sorry). In rural areas, property owners are reluctant to bear the cost of installing new sewers, but many of the new units that come on line are higher in density, like condos, PUD’s and multifamily properties. Here’s a collection of recent news articles to illustrate the point.
In fast growing rural counties, septic systems are creating environmental concerns [Missoulian] for nearby lakes and streams.
Rural areas are resistant to sewer systems [MCall.com] as septic systems can be inadequate for new developments.
Sewer systems are assumed to be part of values [LJWorld.com] inherent in new residential development in this discussion with a county appraiser.
Increasing housing density to drive down prices starts with providing sewers [JuneauEmpire.com] and other services that can handle the additional capacity.
Here is a photo archive of Chicago’s sewer system and a short history [Chicago Public Library]. The expansion of Chicago’s sewer system in the early 1900’s was largely due to the expansion of speculative residential housing in the newly emerging suburbs.
Here’s our collection of various manhole covers in Manhattan [Miller Samuel]. We spend so much of our time looking up at buildings, we forget to look at the ground.