Monday, May 6, 2013

Thinking About Poop

New book on the history and culture of feces - - The Origin of Feces.  From the book summary on Amazon:

An entertaining and enlightening exploration of why waste matters, this cultural history explores an often ignored subject matter and makes a compelling argument for a deeper understanding of human and animal waste. Approaching the subject from a variety of perspectives—evolutionary, ecological, and cultural—this examination shows how integral excrement is to biodiversity, agriculture, public health, food production and distribution, and global ecosystems. From primordial ooze, dung beetles, bug frass, cat scats, and flush toilets to global trade, pandemics, and energy, this is the awesome, troubled, uncensored story of feces.

Also, in the current issue of ENR regarding rebuilding wastewater treatment plants after Hurricane Sandy:

Several wastewater treatment plants lost power or were flooded in the aftermath of Sandy. As a result, some facilities lost their ability to treat sewage, and raw sewage came up through manholes and flowed into waterways.

EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck told reporters on May 2 that funding-eligible projects will be those that can increase the resiliency of water facilities to withstand the effects of future storms similar to Sandy.

Such projects could involve installing backup power or submersible pumps, developing green infrastructure to mitigate a storm surge and building barriers to prevent flooding, she said.
“In the future, we believe this funding will make it possible to keep clean drinking water flowing and raw sewage contained, during major storms,” Enck said.

“These funds will allow localities across the state to repair vital infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy – as well as to build back smarter and stronger to better withstand future natural disasters and flooding,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a statement.

“It is absolutely crucial that we fortify our drinking water and wastewater systems with equipment and features to ensure plants are operational during and after major storms and that the water flowing to the businesses and homes of New Yorkers is safe and protected.”

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