by Jordan Laio, Networx
The topic of letting urine sit in the toilet until a number two comes along (known widely by the euphonic expression, If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down…) can cause quite an emotional reaction in people. Especially when this approach is applied in a household with disagreeable family members or guests. Many would say the very thought is disgusting.
Some people, upon seeing something distasteful in the toilet bowl before they use it, will actually pre-flush before they evacuate their own waste into the bowl, presumably because they want their own waste to have a full bowl of clean water all to itself.
I realize that this is one of those topics where it’s near impossible to convert anyone, in which case I’m preaching to the choir. Well, so be it, because it needs to be said.
The Water We Waste
What is truly disgusting is how our current human waste disposal system works in the United States. We take about 1.6 gallons of good drinking water to flush 10 ounces of urine and toilet paper down the toilet. In doing so, the 1.6 gallons become undrinkable.
Next, the water must be routed to a wastewater cleaning facility where it is processed, usually with heavy chemicals like chlorine, then processed once more to remove the chemicals that were used to decontaminate it. Then it is dumped into the rivers and oceans. In other words, we take perfectly good drinking water, make it toxic and then doubly toxic, clean it and then dump it into the environment.
In reaction to this massive waste of drinking water, countries like Singapore have created wastewater treatment facilities that clean wastewater effectively enough that it is considered safe to drink. Such facilities supply about 30 percent of Singapore’s drinking water.