Toilets for Emergencies

September 27, 2011

What are we going to do when the toilets don’t work?  Do we have the knowledge and materials we need to build simple, safe, functional toilets for household and multi-household use?   Helping Portlanders answer these questions is the goal of Toilets for Emergencies, a fall campaign organized by PHLUSH in partnership with PNCA’s Collaborative Design Studio and the Christchurch compost toilet group in New Zealand.   The first events will take place on October 22 at the Water ! 2011 Festival at Humboldt School, 4915 N Gantenbein, Portland.  The free festival is sponsored by East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.

Water Festival October 2011

From 10am-3pm there will be demonstrations on making the Christchurch twin no-mix toilet, which is appropriate for vertical neighborhoods.   At 11 am PNCA graduate students will present a class on building multi-household emergency toilets.

With alarming earthquake risk in our area, we need to prepare.  If you are interested in a 15-minute talk or hour-long workshop for your community group, just let us know.



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7 Responses to Toilets for Emergencies

  1. Carol on September 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

    That is so great! The same effort is taking place here in the greater San Francisco Bay area. We have some solutions folks can stash in small spaces in their basement in case of emergency and we have sketches of what the emergency water districts could deploy. Many issues have been raised about training people in their construction and deployment. It’s eye-opening.

  2. Tina on September 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    What a great event! The more informed people are about emergencies the better they can get through them and sanitation is definitely high on the list. It’s exciting to see the community get together and do things like this!

  3. phlush on October 1, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Our campaign is picking up partners and we are charged. We are grateful to TIna and the folks at Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management for agreeing to review our materials to ensure feasibility and communicability of concepts. Also thanks to the City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Management for publicizing our workshops, and standing by to review guidelines we propose. And we hope Carol Steinfield can put us in touch with the folks in San Francisco who are working in emergency sanitation.

    UPDATE 2011-10-06: SanFrancisco architect Brent Bucknum is on his way to Portland to meet with PHLUSH folks.

  4. Susan on October 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you for putting together an informative day of free workshops. PHLUSH ROCKS!!!!

  5. phlush on October 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks, Susan, should go to East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District for hosting this yearly festival and to Jeff Holiman for introducing us to festival organizer Candace Stroughton. For an all volunteer grassroots group like ours, having a free booth and being able to meet families in a new part of Portland is just great and we’ve been preparing for this for weeks. Make sure your friends and families know about it.

  6. Emergency Sanitation Updates | PHLUSH on November 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    […] to the at the PHLUSH booth at last month’s Water! Festival had a chance to check out several waterless options .  The Christchurch Twin No-Mix Emergency […]

  7. […] after a Cascadia earthquake a topic of discussion (something I have never accomplished). We missed World Toilet Day and visiting with the PHLUSH folks at their booth at the Water! Festival in October, but […]

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Our Mission Through education and advocacy, PHLUSH helps local governments and citizen groups to provide equitable public restroom availability and to prepare for a pipe-breaking seismic event with appropriate ecological toilet systems.

Our Vision Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) was founded in Portland, Oregon and today collaborates with groups across North America.

PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

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