Where Does Poop Go?

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Have you ever thought about what happens after you flush? The United Nations recommends following these four steps for treating human waste:

  1. Containment
  2. Transportation
  3. Treatment
  4. Disposal or Reuse

In other words


Disposal or Reuse?

As FLUSH demonstrates, many of the systems we rely on today break the recycling loop: turning poop into a waste-product and putting it into landfill instead of re-using its nutrients.

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Intact Nutrient Cycle.png

Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters

Our systems are designed so that when they work correctly we don’t have to think about them very much. Natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy highlight what happens when our systems break down or are asked to cope with more material than they were designed to manage.

Find more about Hurricane Sandy facts and data here. Explore where sewage overflows happened during Hurricane Sandy, what caused them, and how treated each overflow was with this interactive graphic from Climate Central.

Hurricane Sandy was 5 years ago now, but major storms - and sewer upheaval - continue to make the news. This summer, Hurricane Harvey spread almost 31.6 million gallons of unprocessed effluent over Houston and Irma gave Florida "a bath of raw sewage." Many of Puerto Rico's wastewater treatment plants are still offline from Maria, poisoning local waterways and contaminating drinking water.

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