Friday, May 23, 2008

Flush Flush Bye Bye

Let's talk poop. OK you can all stop giggling now. I know it sounds kind of gross but it's important that everyone understands what really happens when we flush the toilet.

If you're on a city maintained sewer system the water and fecal matter leave your toilet and travel through pipes to the wastewater treatment plant. There it is skimmed so thing that shouldn't have been flushed are removed so they don't interfere with the cleaning process. Next the raw sewage goes through a process of chemical treatment and flocculation to remove any solid materials. The remaining liquid is then sent to ponds where it is aerated and treated to kill any bacteria. Treated water is often used to irrigate fields, parks, and sometimes even pumped back to the aquifer where it will undergo natural cleansing as it passes through layers of rock and sand. The solid waste is often sold to farmers who use it as fertilizer in their fields.

That's why it's important never to flush things like motor oil, solids that can be deposited in the trash instead of Daddy's car keys.

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