At some point nearly every night I wake up. The house creaks. The blinds rattle. My heart is racing. My home is vibrating. You may be thinking, horror-story plot but unfortunately this is a very real every-day experience. Within a short time both of my young children are awake, usually crying. Eventually, it stops and we all settle back down. Some nights this scenario happens over and over. We are sleep deprived and miserable and I believe many other folks in the area are affected as well.
Over the last several years I’ve come to realize that homes in some parts of San Francisco are subjected to regular vibration pollution. I've lived in three different buildings now, all with the same problem. It is affecting my family's health and well being and I believe many others are affected. I guess it persists because it seems to be beyond most people's perception. Or maybe it just seems pretty unlikely that something unseen could be causing any real damage. But aware of the problem or not, it is detrimental.
My intent with this website is to:
Share what I have learned, you may be similarly impacted by this disturbance and looking for answers.
Connect, I want to reach others affecting by this problem. Building a community will be key to resolving this issue. Maybe you want to record vibrations at your residence and compare to other locations in the area.
Resolving the Issue, ultimately I hope to resolve this issue. I don’t know what it will take but with help from others, I’m sure we can figure out what to do. I need help understanding the problem and documenting it. Please share any suggestions as well.
The plan is to organize data, compare notes, identify the source and raise it to the appropriate parties to resolve it.
Everyone's home should be safe and comfortable. We need relief!
Check out resources page for relevant links
Nik Harter's Story about the SF Hum: https://www.kalw.org/news/2021-11-01/the-hum-a-worldwide-mystery-sound-explained
Illinois Hum Study
I analyzed Hum reports for Northeastern Illinois to see if there was any correlation to Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines. This has been proposed as a plausible source. I did indeed find a correlation! Hum reports are on average 30% nearer pipelines than the population! See the study here:
Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines Geohazards
This study analyzes earthquakes in Illinois, Denver, and rural areas of the US. Many of the earthquakes in the areas examined are very near pipelines. In some instances they occur directly below pipelines. Hum reports occur in these same areas. Could these pipelines be inducing earthquakes and causing the Hum?
Much of the Santa Barbra County Mudslide occurred along a stretch of pipeline. Some sections had the mudslide crown less than 100 feet from the pipeline. Seems likely that this pipeline contributed to this event. See here:
Example Night 1/ Example Night 2
I have posted time series data of two nights showing the vibrations. These were both pretty bad nights and hopefully helps illustrate the problem.
I also provide some recordings of my living room floor when the vibration was pretty bad. It shows how the vibration occurs at frequencies as high as 1,800 hz. I was surprised that the vibrations occur at discrete frequencies, rather than over a range. This seems to indicate that the source is resonating.
I've tried as best I can to describe what it feels like and when it happens.
I've also listed a number of possible causes and things I've ruled out.
Below is a Video of the vibration causing the string lights in my fireplace rattling. The things all over our house rattle. It last as long as the vibrations last which can be just minutes or for hours. The video is kind of quiet so may need to use headphones or turn up the volume to hear it.