News Dec 24, 2002 at 4:00 am

The Sordid Life of Human Waste


a wonderful and informative story!
wow. just when i thought my writing was pretty good, i run into this article and see my skills go up in flames. yay!... i mean, Noooo! I really liked it though, i kinda have the similar "write how you think it" way of writing, because there's a difference between the way people think and people say things, and your one of the few ive seen do this. man, i had to register just to put this comment? what it this?! well, good luck!
You have way, way too much time on your hands. Get a hobby.
You have wayyyyyyyy to much time on your hands. And hopefully you wash your hands afterwards! My suggestion: get a hobby
i've been looking for some that has wanted to know where poop goes thank you for getting the answers i've always wondered
I agree, this is the best written, most informative, and well-balanced article I found on this subject.
This was a really informative and entertaining article - just ignore that Tommy guy. Thanks for the info! :3 x
This story was very interesting and informative. The informal style it was written in was the perfect compliment to the factual content. That combination held my attention throughout the whole piece. Good work.
To tommy21962 I think she didn't waste his time at all but instead she helped those who wanted to know what happens to our poop. I think you should stop trolling. Thanks for the information tho katie
I'm so glad that my three year old asked me this question! Thank you for the informative and well written article! Awesome!
hello,why the hell r u writing about where shit goes?????REALLY!!!!
This is absurd I wouldn't consider taking time to write this much. Think about it, certainly theres no point of thinking anything likely about this. I assumed you are just bored, and honestly to what I think about this.. It's just seems and tells me that YOU need to manage your time wisely and become more mature despite the way you are.
And Regardless there are not exceptional way to educate about this fact.
Yah! My mom left the toilet this wondering asking me (her son) where the hell does my shit go? and she made me look it up and this is what i found! very infomative! Thanks! Hope you still dont smell like shit! :D
Hey, thanks a lot! You did a great job writing this! I was wondering what happens to our poop in America because I've recently learned about the toilet deprivation in places like India and Indonesia. I feel lucky that our poop is used in healthy ways- like making mathane gas or fertilization.
I couldn't help but think how much money it would take for me to lick that big rake. This made me laugh uncontrollably, spit out my drink, snort like a pig the whole nine yards...hilariously informative article...THANKS FOR THE GOOD WORKS!!!
omg...... Thanks for the information but that was waaaayyyy to long. I asked where poop goes not what you did at the dooky tank factory...... Take my advice.. Go back to school and learn how to summarize!!!
For all the people saying she has wasted her time discussing where our poop goes post flush and the resulting high level of detail being indicative of her supposedly low level of maturity, get over yourselves.

Here is some advice: thank your parents and not some magical fat man for getting you gifts on Christmas; corn is cheap because the government subsidizes the crop; and poop doesn't just disappear into the other side of the looking glass.

The word 'poop' is looked upon unfavorably and even its mere mention in topics incites giggles and the averting of the eyes. If I showed you how poop could be turned into gold, I bet a lot of you be laying on your backsides at this very moment, frantically digging at your own personal mines. Nope! Poop is dirty and waste by definition. Poop alchemy is relatively unknown to most of us and the process of turning it into gold remains just as elusive as it were to the commoners of yester-year...

It's high time we as Humans removed all the fantasy involving our consumption habits. The public perception of how we receive food is often glamorized ie. is it really just sunshine and a caring heart that brings steak into our homes and available on our menus?

Where does the meat come from? How are the animals raised? How are the farmers able to feed the animals? Does the food chain end when we are done eating the animal?

Thank you Miss Shimer for an informative close-up on something I have personally overlooked (and Mr. Ryan for a snazzy diagram).

Just because it is out of our sight, does not mean it is out of our lives and ironically, even when we turn our noses up to it...

its presence only becomes stronger.

psst. (check out 2+2), Other Other Topics
lazy321 is right.

The plant takes potassium from the soil where it gets transported to the fruit, we eat the fruit and use the minerals(potassium, magnesium, etc..) but our feces don't return to the soil! We are depleting the soil's, it will get to the point where we will starve to death!

Human feces should be transported back to farm lands where bacteria can recycle the minerals like potassium, magnesium, etc...
I wonder no longer.
Thanks! Today, my 4 year old asked where the poop goes. My wife and I realized we didn't know beyond, "the pipes under the house and into the ground" My 4 year old was satisfied but I had to know more. We love grass fed beef and I have no problem with the biosolids. Maybe that's why grass fed beef is so much better than feedlot beef. And the grass grows faster and better and likely many more nutrients too. It's a shame that 50% of the methane gas is wasted. Talk about a need to use alternative fuels. Why can't we use 100%? Maybe because the government, in addition to subsidizing corn (mostly GMO corn sadly), also subsidizes the oil industry and also ethanol which diverts corn and other crops from our food supply and drives up food prices. Yes, as more corn is planted for fuel, less other crops are planted for food. Funny how an internet search for info on poop ends up stirring up many more issues in our country. We need to vote for politicians that care about our food supply and health and actually understand these issues!
Most people probably won't understand these comments because they have their heads in the sand but do some research and reading and you will see that I am right. Hope it helps change someone's perspective.
And thanks for the article. Great information!
Wow...i've always wondered what happens to my i know! Awesome article !!
Love your article! Our lake here is way down and I was writing on my blog about all the things that are popping up now that the lake is down, and how this is in our drinking water, and then I started thinking about how the poop we flush is also in our drinking water and decided to look up exactly what they do with the poo-poo and found your article. Love, love, love it!! Not only informative, but hilarious! I put a link on my blog to here so everyone (all twelve of my followers) can come and have a belly laugh today, too. Thanks for the great time reading this!!
Shit, say shit! Not 'poop'. Say Loo not rest room , head, little girls room. It is a toilet and it is shit.
I shall be composting my shit from now on!
Thank you. If it wasn't for people like us that are so curious there wouldn't be any type of healthy waste management or new inventive ideas. So to say that people that get bored are boring, choose enlightenment and knowledge over mind numbing things.
Photos would have been nice! lol
Awesome article - you rock!!! Funny, entertaining and educational! Way to do it.
Well, the earth soil layer is so 'Thick' that even if human faeces are not dumped back to ground, Nutrients will remain for Billion of years.

Moreover, human feaces are not pure as it used to be. Our body intakes lots of chemical craps which it excretes. I 'Guess' modern human feaces may make soil chemically polluted.

Well, rainfall is an effective source of nutrient re-cycling (think over it : ) ).
Great article. We should all know where our poop goes and understand the benefit of biosolids. Public perception is mistaken simply because not many people know what is going on there. Ironically in a developing country like China, farmers use human waste to fertilize agricultural land for thousand of years. The digested biosolid is obviously much more advanced.
You and many other people go into so much detail on the public internet about poop! You must have seriously been curious to have actually done this research. What are you going to look up next, because I hope it's how pizza is nationally recognized as a vegetable!
Now when I take a dump, I feel like I am providing food for creatures.
its funny how you started this articale i had the same thought as i woke up in bed one night and laid there and just thought to myself were does this poop go !
a great informative write but coming from the uk i ask yself is it the same process from state to state do they cut corners in different states ...something i need o check
but now i know roughly how the poop recycle works i can go back to bed and poop with great honour as i useally do
thanks for this great articale :)
What type of simpleton would respond to a well researched article with actual disdain? Really, have you nothing better to do than spread hate? That, to me, is a much more irresponsible use of time.
Too bad with all the money we pay, we don't have a single gray water plant that could keep the water out of the river. That's probably too 21st century for so-called sustainable Portland.

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