New documentary breaks taboos to explore America’s wastewater infrastructure


Documentary filmmaker Karina Mangu-Ward is going to make a splash with FLUSH, which premieres worldwide on November 15th, 2017.  Mangu-Ward’s images are captivating, the editing is excellent, and the film features some of North America’s most important sanitation heroes. It will change the way you think about poop. We here at the other PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us…

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Facing Facts: A Critique of Legacy Wastewater Treatment Systems

Hearings in the Vermont House of Representatives earlier this month give a penetrating and carefully documented look into the issues we are researching at PHLUSH. House Bill 375, sponsored by Representative Teo Zagar seeks to expand and incentivize the use of ecological toilets and greywater systems. Now that much of the extensive testimony organized by…

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Global Homeless Day: Toilet Solutions from France for the USA

“The restroom thus becomes a tool for figuring out just how a society functions – what it values, how it separates people from one another, and the kinds of trade-offs that come to be made,” says sociologist Harvey Moltoch. While we at PHLUSH believe in safe and accessible toilets for all people (families, children, those…

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Poo to Peaches – Educating the Next Generation of Composting Toilet Users

Guest post by Stephen Thomas of Watershed Management Group. Every day, the average person flushes 10 gallons of clean drinking water down the toilet. This constitutes a waste of two precious resources: scarce water supplies and human manure, which could instead be composted to form a fertile soil amendment. While there are various  commercial composting…

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Let’s Legalize Composting & UD toilets in US


Our friends at Recode have drafted model code for composting toilets with urine diversion (UD) and IAMPO is preparing to vote on it. This Portland-based group of scientists and policy advocates have made spectacular progress. Now Recode is calling on us to help make history. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to enable Recode’s Director to travel to California to address IAMPO officials. Details are in…

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Do you Poop Sustainably? Alternative Toilets Save Water & ReCycle Waste

Urine-Diverting Toilet

This guest blog post is from Atara Jaffe. Sustainability. From mainstream media to blogs, sustainability is not just a buzzword, but is frequently used as a term to embody practices related to survival. Everyone from homeowners to architects are incorporating “sustainability” tactics to slowly transform the way people think and live. While solar panels have popped…

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Sewers are broken. Where will you go?

PHLUSH partner organization MDML (once known as Project) created an informative and life-saving guide that shows you scientifically-proven methods for human-waste composting in an emergency. Don’t miss the opportunity to download it for free or purchase it for 10 bucks on their website. This illustrated guide presents a series of graduated responses you can do to keep…

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Sobering realities for World Water Day

World Water Day is celebrated worldwide today, March 22 and here in Portland on Saturday.  As advocates of sustainable sanitation we have trouble with the custom of using our drinking water to transport our human excreta, household graywater, industrial chemicals, and storm water runoff to the wastewater treatment plant.  Portland’s Bull Run water is among…

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Ecological sanitation is dinner topic

Most of the thirty odd Portlanders who gathered for dinner at a private home in the Laurelhurst neighborhood had had the same experience. When they had suggested ways to make sanitation more sustainable, there were always some friends and family members who simply refused to discuss the matter. Taboos about human excreta run deep. So,…

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