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Thread: A question on Plausibility: Sewer Leaks causing Deaths

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  1. #1
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    May 2018

    A question on Plausibility: Sewer Leaks causing Deaths

    Hey guys, I need your thoughts on a part of my piece.

    My MC was orphaned as a young boy, and I discuss his backstory once in, what I'd put as the Mid-Beginning (CH. 3, the way it is now). There I discuss the events that lead to his current status once.

    But then one day when Cassidy was seven his teachers pulled him and almost half of his schoolmates out of line for the buses to go home. Something had happened, and Cassidy knew it was bad, even then.

    As Cassidy reminisced so did his mentor. Back then, Frederick Fodrey had only completed his training and passed his final bar exams one year prior. As an inexperienced lawyer in a large law firm he spent most of his time doing this and that for other lawyers. They say that you wait for your “big break” to really start your career, well, for Frederick, it happened quite literally. There was a break in the sewer-line that ran near a poorer section of the dome, and many residents were injured or died as a result. Those who survived had a lot of property damage. The dome officials in charge of the sewers were accused of dolling out restitution payments that were way too low. Most of the residents who lived in that part of town were too poor to make any commotion on their own, but this time, several residents had teamed up to form a joint lawsuit against the Dome Department of Public Works, from which the Sewers were run.
    This is a small piece of the backstory I wrote where I go back and forth between both character's POV's. As you can read, there was a sewer "accident" that affected just the poorer sections, and which killed people. I also hinted here that this event was not just a once and done, but that it occurred multiple times. Now, much later in my story I am discussing this event again.

    “I’ve been thinking I may have an example of real world evidence. Four through Eleven, twenty seven.” Said Benny.
    Everyone knew what those numbers meant. Especially Cassidy. In the year 427 between April and November there were several breaks in the sewer-line that ran through poorer neighborhoods under the dome. One such break was so bad that it killed Cassidy’s parents, and about Thirty other people.
    “As we repair it, I’m repeatedly seeing damage to other parts of the dome near where the break occurs. I’m willing to bet that our Dome’s sewer line goes past at least one of these projectors.” Benny Continued
    “No, it can’t be that,” said Cassidy. “There were Six breaks, all within one year. The rates we’re looking at suggest one every decade, perhaps less.”
    “Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re connected somehow. Those neighborhoods were all near the edge of the dome, weren’t they. Perhaps something damaged the system, and it led to the breaks later on.”
    Cassidy was not willing to accept that the accident that killed his parents was caused by a random breakdown. He much preferred the widely accepted scenario that those managing the systems were at fault. They were not smart enough to do their jobs. Afterwards they increased the engineering requirements on the DREIT for that position, and assigned new supervisors. All of the existing employees were reviewed by the retirement board, which had the power to put inadequate employees into forced retirement.
    “It’s worth considering,” said Ryan, and everyone except Cassidy nodded. “I heard most of those sewer lines were closed soon after. They were all really old and newer ones were being used in other parts already.”
    “Still, It’s been a decade since they’ve had any similar issues, so whatever the cause, they’ve resolved it by now.” Said Ryan, when it was clear they were not going to persuade Cassidy. So at that the matter dropped and the others moved on.
    Now the technical elements of the theory the characters are discussing is a bit much to go into here. But I did go into a bit more detail about the events here. Basically they are discussing trend noticed with a little model dome and a larger Dome, if it helps.

    What I am wondering is about the element of the Sewer Break killing people. I did some research and there was an incident in Mexico where the sewer leak combined with faulty electronics to make an explosion that killed several people, and I could change my wording to reflect a similar set of events if I have to. But I don't want to complicate things by explaining too much if I don't have to. Does saying they died in a sewer leak lead you to imagine drowning in toilet water, and that gross you out too much? Is it even believable to you that it was more than a minor inconvenience?
    Last edited by Sarahrizz; 08-23-2019 at 08:53 PM.

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