Flush Mob: 1m Zimbabweans empty cisterns in unison

Authorities in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, asked the city's million residents to flush their toilets at precisely 7:30 p.m. Saturday—a move aimed at clearing waste that had accumulated in the system after recent outages. [AP] Read the rest

From the Toilet to the Tap

Cloacina was the ancient Roman goddess of sewers. Think about that for a minute. To the Romans, the ability to take vile, disgusting wastewater and just get it the heck out of Rome was such a miraculous feat that they created a whole deity to watch over and protect the pipeline.

Now, how much more impressive would Cloacina have been if she could turn the sludge into usable water again?

Today, cities around the world are shifting away from the historical focus of wastewater management (i.e. the miracle of making the wastewater go away somewhere where we can't see it) and adopting a new paradigm of re-use. David Sedlak, professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, studies wastewater and spoke about water recycling at the 2009 Nobel Conference on water conservation issues at Minnesota's Gustavus Adolphus University. He said that people are often turned off by the idea of cycling water from the toilet to the tap and back again, but water recycling is very different from simply filling a glass out of the John.

In fact, you could be drinking recycled water and not even know it. Read the rest