Enacting Awareness: Water, Waste, and Public Space

May 26, 2015
By

With last Friday’s whimsical 5K walk, activists at the University of California at Santa Cruz focused attention on often-evaded issues. ‚ÄúSlugs to Sludge‚ÄĚ was created as a playful way to raise awareness of sewage infrastructure and the water it requires, and to advocate for action on ecological sanitation at UCSC and beyond. With the average American flushing away an estimated annual 5 thousand gallons of drinking water in a time of drought, sanitation clearly needs to be central to the dialogue. Walkers followed the path of human waste from the campus to the wastewater treatment facility at Neary Lagoon, having fun along the way in with activities organized by various environmental groups.

Slugs to Sludge serves as an invitation to a May 28th event entitled “Enacting Awareness: Water, Waste, and Public Space“. A series of presentations and a panel discussion will feature a dynamic mix of artists, scholars, and creative practitioners working on cultural and environmental aspects of human waste, ecological education, and organizing. Joining UCSC PhD student Abigail Brown of PHLUSH are Heidi Quante of Creative Catalysts, Shawn Shafner of The People‚Äôs Own Organic Power Project, and author and ecological sanitation advocate Carol Steinfeld. Both events were organized by the UCSC Wastewater Research Group, led by Digital Arts and New Media graduate students Andrea Steves and Timothy Furstnau, with support from the Art Department and Arts Division.

 

Walkers were greeted by toilets at the starting line at University of California Santa Cruz.

Porcelain toilets greet walkers at the Slugs to Sludge starting line at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Some participants took a quick rest before beginning the 5k.

Participants take a quick rest before beginning the 5k pilgrimage to the wastewater treatment plant.

They took in bleak facts about the drought and our wasteful ways with water.

Lift the lid on the bleak facts about  drought and our wasteful ways with water.

Before embarking, walkers mapped the location of their last "poop" in Santa Cruz.

Where was your last poop in Santa Cruz? How will it co-mingle with the movements of 80.000 others the treatment plant serves?

The sewage outflow pipe from University of California Santa Cruz lies along the base of a large ravine. So interesting to see the man-made collide with nature.

The sewage outflow pipe from University of California Santa Cruz lies along the base of a large ravine. Human impact collides with Nature.

Another stormwater outflow pipe joins up with the main sewage outflow pipe.

Another stormwater outflow pipe joins up with the main sewage outflow pipe.

A group of walkers takes a break at an info table of a campus sustainability group.

A group of walkers takes a break at one of the info tables set up by a campus sustainability group.

Another campus group informs walkers that communities of color are most impacted by inequitable water and sanitation provision in the United States.

People of Color Sustainability Collective reminds walkers just which communities are most impacted by the inequitable  provision of water and sanitation in the United States.

Walkers see the pipe go underground as they enter a more urbanized area.

Note how the pipe disappears underground as it passes through a more residential area.

Walkers pass a large stormwater collection and conveyance facility.

Walkers pass a large stormwater collection and conveyance facility.

Slugs to Sludge 5K ends at the wastewater treatment plant with songs about poop and awareness games created by participating groups.

Slugs to Sludge 5K ends at the wastewater treatment plant with songs about poop and awareness games created by participating groups.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

     

    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.

    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.

    Get our newsletter!

    Blog Archives