parsimonious.orgHome
The Sims 1 Objects, Clothes, Walls & Floors, Heads
The Sims 2 Houses, Objects, Clothes, Walls, Floors, Make-up, Skins
The Sims 3 Houses, Objects, Clothes, Walls & Floors, Patterns, Worlds
The Sims 4Walls & Floors, Houses
SimCity 5 Strategy & Gameplay Guides
The Fat Strawberry Seamless Textures
Support Help Using This Site

SimCity Strategy Guides

Advertisment

Healthcare: Pollution & Germs

Advertisment

Pollution is the biggest cause of sickness in SimCity. It comes from a variety of different sources and requires a number of different approaches to dealing with it.

The following sections can be found in this article:

  • Zoning and Germs
  • Identifying & Fixing Pollution Problems
  • Zoning and Germs

    At a very basic level the layout of the zones in your city is what will determine the likely occurance and concentration of germs. Industrial zones are responsible for most pollution and therefore germs, as are certain 'industrial' type city buildings (factories, refineries, mines etc).

    When you place industrial zoning and polluting buildings the game does give you a handy little indicator to show which way the prevailing wind blows, however this only indicates the general direction that most of the toxic air pollution will go. The whole of your city can still be affected by air pollution, including air pollution blown in from other cities, or just general atmospheric pollution in the region. Ground pollution will spread out around industrial areas, it can also seep into the ground water and if you pump that ground water, the pollution will get into the water supply and affect your whole city.

    In short, unless you plan on having a city with no industry (it is possible), or you make every effort to only develop high tech cleaner industries (again, it is possible), the whole of your city is likely to be affected by some form of pollution.

    There are some sources of pollution (and therefore germs) which you can control, namely garbage and sewage pollution. Inadequate sewage processing or garbage piling up in the streets will cause germs which leads to city-wide healthcare problems.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: Industrial
  • Identifying & Fixing Pollution Problems

    If you have a lot of sick Sims or a lot of germy buildings, usually you'll they'll be pretty quick to tell you about it, but they're not always very insightful as to what the cause of the problem is.

    Garbage

    As noted above, garbage is relatively easy. Sims will complain loudly about garbage, if you look close up at your city you may even see piles of garbage in the street. Fortunately it does take a while before garbage piling up causes an increase in germ levels, and any such problems will go away quickly once you solve your garbage problems.

    Solution:

    Expand your garbage processing. If you have enough room in your garbage dump then get more trucks. If your dump is at maximum capacity then add more dump zones and an incinerator (or another incincerator). If you don't have enough trucks then you may need a second garbage dump. You can also enlist the help of a neighbor getting volunteered vehicles to take away some of your trash.

    The garbage data map will show any garbage problems that are causing pollution, each affected building will show a red block indicating overflowing garbage.

    Recycling requires investment in education, but overflowing recycling does not pose a health hazard

    Encouraging recycling by educating your Sims and providing a recycling plant and storage depot for the recycled materials will reduce the amount of garbage generated. Unlike garbage recycling does not cause pollution if it goes uncollected (your Sims will still complain, but it won't make them sick).

    For more information:

  • Garbage & Recycling
  • Government: Understanding data maps
  • Sewage

    Like garbage, sewage will start to collect in buildings if you are not providing enough processing to get rid of it and when it does, it generates germs and therefore sickness. The sewage data map will indicate any points where sewage processing is not working and therefore where there is a sewage problem.

    Solution:

    The sewage outlet pipe is the affordable option for a starter city, buying sewage processing off a neighbor is a preferable option when founding a new city along side established cities in a region, however at some point it is very likely that these options won't be enough.

    The water pumping station with advanced filtration pumps will clean the polluted output from a sewage treatment plant and generate endless clean drinking water

    Once working the sewage treatment plant does contribute ground pollution, but it is at a fairly low level and if built next to a water pumping station with advanced filtration, together they will provide your city with both sewage treatment and an endless supply of clean water.

    For more information:

  • Water
  • Government: Understanding data maps
  • Ground Pollution

    Ground pollution is caused by industrial zones, factories, mines, refineries, smelters, sewage treatment (see above), trade depots, garbage dumps, mass transit stations and power plants.

    Solution:

    Because there are so many sources of ground pollution it is very hard (although not impossible) to avoid developing it in the first place. Some buildings will, however generate more ground pollution than others and it is possible (albeit somewhat more tricky and expensive) to develop clean industry from the outset by maxing out your city's educational system before zoning any industrial areas. If you can get a neighbor to do your garbage collection for you and either buy in power, or use green energy such as solar and wind, then you can considerably reduce ground pollution damage to your city. I also recommend keeping industrial zones small, perhaps only 1 or 2 factories per zone, and interspersing them amongst your other zones, it helps reduce traffic and worker shortages as well as reducing the intensity of ground pollution.

    Once in place, ground pollution takes a long time to clean up. The horrible black and brown mess left behind from mining, factories, deleted garbage dump zones and large areas of low tech industrial buildings, will last for many game years even after those buildings have been removed.

    Parks reduce air pollution in the local area

    Ground pollution will eventually disappear by itself. It is often reported that placing parks and trees will help clear up ground pollution faster, however I've found no evidence this is actually true. Maxis' comments on the subject of parks and trees lead me to believe their only effect is to reduce the local effects of air pollution and my own testing has certainly shown no difference in the improvement of ground pollution in and under parks than if it is just left bare for many years.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: Industrial
  • Roads & Mass Transit: Overview
  • Parks: Pollution
  • Government: Understanding data maps
  • Air Pollution

    Air pollution is perhaps the most incideous and problematic of all pollution types. It is also the most likely culprit for outbreaks of sickness in apparently clean, industry-free areas of your city. Check your air pollution data map if you have a lot of sickness without obvious cause, very often you'll find that there is an area of higher air pollution floating across your otherwise pristine neighborhoods.

    Air pollution has much the same sources as ground pollution, factories, mines, fuel burning power plants etc.

    Solution:

    Avoiding air pollution is pretty much impossible without a major commitment from all cities within a region to be totally and utterly green (which may mean requiring significant cooperation from other players of course!).

    Expanding education before placing industrial zones and using green power and pushing recycling works as effectively for preventing escalating air pollution just as it does for ground pollution, but a certain amount of air pollution seems to come just from having occupied cities, regardless of how industrialized they are.

    Nevertheless where you place polluting buildings and zones within your city does give you more local control over air pollution than ground pollution. A polluting building will drop ground pollution all around it, whereas when it pollutes the air, that pollution will mostly get carried away by the prevailing wind. If the wind takes the majority of the pollution out of the city then it will have much less of an impact on nearby areas and therefore will not cause an immediate impact on levels of germs. It is, however, important to remember that the wind in SimCity is a regional resource, so the air that carries pollution away from your city can also carry it into the region and into other cities if they are down wind. And of course the pollution still exists either way, so regional air pollution levels will increase, resulting in a minor increase of all germ levels.

    For more information:

  • Zoning: Industrial
  • Power
  • Government: Understanding data maps
  • Radiation

    Radiation as the result of a nuclear power plant failure does NOT cause germs. It does cause sickness (and a great deal of it), but it is not by the same mechanism that other forms of pollution cause sickness. Interestingly has been claimed by one Maxis employee that radiation levels are set to reduce only once existing ground pollution has been removed. I'm not sure how acurate this statement is as it rather contradicts comments issued by more senior developers. Either way, since it definitely takes over 544 game years for the worst affected areas of radiation to dissipate, it probably doesn't matter if it's actually 594 years because the ground pollution has to clear first.

    Dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear meltdown is covered in the Disasters article.

    For more information:

  • Surviving Disasters
  • Power
  • Government: Understanding data maps
  • Return to Top
  • Web Design by The Fat Strawberry

  • Copyright Parsimonious 2003 - 2016 ~ All rights reserved ~ View Parsimonious Privacy Policy here

    This site is not affiliated with Electronic Arts or any of it's partners or any other games publishers or any other makers of anything...