Abstract

Everybody poops. It’s the natural cycle of digestion. We dine, we digest, and we defecate. But what happens to our poop after we flush? Does it sit there in the pipes and rot? The process is actually very complex. We have sanitation facilities to thank for that.

In cities of developed countries, it’s pretty normal for toilets to be hooked up to the sewage treatment facilities nearby. These facilities work to slurp up any essential nutrients from the wastewater and break down any harmful chemicals. When we remove things like nitrogen and phosphorus from the waste, we can help clean the water to return it to our rivers. Miniature versions of these facilities can also be found in suburban or rural areas in developed countries.

However, in developing countries (and even some rural areas in the United States)  toilets may not be connected to sewage treatment facilities because of cost, social, or environmental reasons. That means that about 2.5 billion people worldwide don’t have access to proper sanitation facilities. We wanted to find out if we could build a low-cost treatment option using only materials found locally to help solve this problem.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Downloads

Additional languages
Only available in English.
Other recommended resources
Opening video(s)

About this article

Summary of research
Researchers wanted to find out if they could build a low-cost wastewater treatment option using only materials found locally in Madagascar.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
Scientific methods
Type of figure
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
November 2020

Looking for something else?

Did you know...

… that on this day, exactly 22 years ago, the Russian module Zarya was launched into space, giving a start to assembling the International Space Station – the largest single structure humans ever put into space?

Honoring this breakthrough, we ask you to take part in our end-of-year fundraising campaign which will help us publish even more adaptations on scientific discoveries such as this article about astronomical dust. Please help us inspire students to pursue careers in the STEM field. Every little bit helps!

We aim to raise 1000$ during our month-long campaign. This is just about 30$ a day!

Can you donate at least 5$ towards that goal?

Thank you. -Tanya
 
#GivingTuesday #STEM