Science Bloggers for Students DonorsChoose Challenge

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quick Tutorial in Urban Sewage Facilities

A great deal of our municipal taxes is dedicated to waste removal – garbage and sewage. And let’s be appreciative, it is one the most important technologies ever is municipal sewage facilities. Municipal sewage handling dates back to the Roman Empire. The Cloaca Maxima was a marvel. Using running water, the Romans were able to wash waste away from public baths and relief spots. Without technologies, societies use latrines or other set aside areas (read outhouse).

Thus sewer facilities are definitely an urban technology, and the most important technology benefiting human-kind. Urban areas, unlike rural or even traditional suburban areas, are densely populated – lots of people and buildings, all stacked up on each other. If we were still using a latrine system the situation would be bad – for us and the native wildlife with which we share this precious space. Thanks to waste handling technologies we have nipped diseases like cholera, typhoid, and dysentery in the bud. Societies with properly functioning waste water handling have virtually no incidences of these horrible diseases that claim countless lives each year. In fact, that’s what the cyclone victims in Burma must now contend with.

Thanks to How Stuff Works, you can read and see for yourself how Urban Wastewater Sewage Systems work.

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