Poop And The Plumbing Saga
We all go about our daily pooping business, flush it down and forget about it. As we rush through a typical day, we don’t stop and think much about poop, until something goes amiss-either we have a bad stomach or the toilet gets clogged. Till then its mindless flushing at our office and home toilets and life goes on.
Who are the people we call in when the toilet malfunctions, is clogged-up or needs repair? The Plumber of course, who gets to work with his tool set and like magic everything is smooth flowing again. The relief that is felt once the situation is remedied is priceless as we no longer need to control the call of nature or make temporary arrangements that are not convenient. On the days that poop moves effortlessly through the drainage, it continues on an onward journey.
Where does all the poop go?
Let’s find out.
Within the sewage systems that carry away the poop, it meets water bugs, cockroaches, chemicals and other pollutants. It then flows and reaches a sewage treatment plant. After removing large debris such as nappies, tissues, cloth pieces, pebbles, etc. the human waste is separated from the water. The resulting sludge goes into further treatment using processes such as lime stabilization, thickening and anaerobic digestion. The sludge is then used as fertilizer or fuel as it is rich in micro-nutrients. The water, on the other hand, needs secondary treatment to remove the harmful bacteria using good bacteria and chemicals. The pure, clean water can be reused safely or can be simply released back to the rivers or seas. Here, is an animated infographic explaining the whole process of where does the Human Waste go?
Why has Plumbing been a game changer?
The contribution of plumbers and the plumbing industry to humankind has been tremendous. In the early ages, unsanitary conditions had claimed thousands of lives due to outbreaks of deadly water-borne diseases. Getting to work to remove the sorry state of sanitation in our world were names such as John Snow, John Harington and Alexander Cummings, designing toilets and flushing systems to safely carry away tons of excreta each day, keeping killer epidemics in check.
Until the 20th century, there simply weren’t any bathrooms as we know them today. It was the plumbers, innovators, town planners and architects that worked tirelessly to make a significant shift happen. Plumbing continues to evolve with better techniques and improved sanitation systems in developed nations and is making strides in the developing world where unhealthy practices such as open defecation still exist.
Thanking the Plumber
Plumbers bring us immense convenience, and their contribution cannot be undermined. A slight malfunction in our home or office toilet can create mayhem if there isn’t an alternative close by and easily disrupt our routine. While the plumber gets to work, we must recall his contribution to health and hygiene and the importance of plumbing industry in building better cities, towns and countries.
Plumbing has given us some incredibly stylish and aesthetically pleasing bathing spaces as also tremendous convenience, be it showers, luxury tubs, public toilets that run without any glitches and bring respite in an emergency. Plumbing in every sense contributes to making our lives efficient and productive.
Guest Contributor, Megan Hudson