The Final Flush

After four inspiring days at the World Toilet Summit (WTS) in Philadelphia, I am finally back to Brooklyn.  My head is still reeling from almost four straight days of non-stop potty talk.

I enjoyed experts presenting and debating topics with names like "Advocacy and Potty Parity" or "Innovations in Global Toilet Design and Application Part I."  I hobnobbed with sanitation luminaries like Virginia Gardiner, creator of an amazing waterless, odor-free, energy-generating toilet called the Loowatt, as well as Trevor Mulaudzi, a social entrepreneur and prestigious Ashoka Fellow.  More commonly known as "Dr. Shit," Trevor's work cleaning up school toilets in South Africa actually keeps kids in school while creating employment opportunities.  Tom Keating alluded to The POOP Project in his event review, "Notes on the Aisle," and I even got to point the finger at Jack Sim, the self-proclaimed "Toiletman" who started it all.

As the WTS was only one part of this year's ASPE conference and massive product exposition (ASPE means American Society of Plumbing Engineers), a large number of educational programs catered to that crowd.  Because I was busy at the World Toilet sessions, I did have to miss out on no-doubt fascinating sessions like: "Roof Drain Design Considerations," "Medical Gas Sizing," or "Practical Engineering: NSF 61 and Booster Systems."  All smugness aside, I wish I could have sat in on environmental topics like "Rainwater Harvesting: A Sustainable Approach" or "Greywater System Design," both vital issues to creating environmentally sound sanitation systems in this country. (More about greywater on Wikipedia.)

As I unpack my suitcase, I find myself trying to mentally unpack the last few days.  I anticipate it won't be until I've typed up all the notes I foolishly wrote by hand, sort through the dozens of business cards I picked up, and eaten the Doritos I picked up on the showroom that I'll truly be able to take in all I've learned.  For now, I'd like to leave you with a moment of Zen...