Water Pollution

September 17, 2011

Current sanitation practice compromises water quality through direct release of treated or untreated wastewater and through run off from agricultural lands into surrounding watersheds.   When added to fresh water bodies, the nitrates and phosphates found in wastewater and in commercial fertilizers frequently lead to “algae blooms”, or increases of phytoplankton.  Eutrophication depletes oxygen in the water and decimates fish populations.

Learn More

Swimming in Sewage. Natural Resources Defense Council. 1994.  This landmark report tracks the real costs of sewer overflows in terms of medical treatment, lost productivity and cleanup and repairs. The 75-page full report is must reading.

Toxic Waters is a  New York Times series about the worsening pollution in America’s waters and regulators’ response.  See especially Charles Duhigg’s “As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways”.

Wastewater Systems This industry site was designed to help novices and experts understand wastewater treatment system technology; provides an excellent breakdown of components and processes. Note that it outlines no less than 18 sludge disposal technologies, many of them in early stages of testing.

A River Renewed.  Narrated by Walter Cronkite, this 17 minute 2013 film from the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services covers the history of pollution of the Willamette River and mitigation of CSOs through downspout disconnect, bioswales, depaving, permeable pavements, ecoroofs,

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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