Surfers Against Sewage protest effluent discharge into coastal waters.
Ciaran McCrickard/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Victorian-era engineering is struggling under decades of underinvestment.
AAP Image/James Gourley
Damage to septic tanks is one of the major health hazards people face when they return to their bushfire-affected homes. It was simply dumb luck a disease outbreak didn’t happen last summer.
Two small rivers meet in the ‘Cathedral’ under Bradford city centre.
The Victorians placed rivers in underground culverts to contain the smell and create new land for buildings.
Wading through floodwater in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire.
Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images
As climate change threatens to bring more sudden rainstorms, we need to rethink the way we manage water.
Celebrations for Kumbh Mela, 2019.
Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest congregation of people – so large, it’s visible from space. However, river pollution is a major issue here and new solutions are needed.
Do canal boats have toilets? Yes, and they’re greener than your average bog.
Don’t believe the wipe hype: they can’t be flushed down toilets, not matter what the label says.
SIM Central and South East Asia Follow/Flickr
Just because something is advertised as ‘flushable’ doesn’t mean you should put it in your toilet.
We need to delve into the mucky complexities of fats, oils and greases in and beyond the home.
Big sewer pipes take all sewage to a place where it is treated. This place is called a sewage treatment plant.
You flush the toilet. Down it goes. What happens after that? Clancy, age four, wants to know.
Colonial notions of public and private space are embedded in sewage systems.
Modern sewerage infrastructure, exported from Britain to the globe, is entirely dependent on water. In a world of growing climate extremes, it’s time to look beyond this colonial legacy.
Ruin of a second-century public toilet in Roman Ostia.
Fr Lawrence Lew, OP
Archaeological and textual detective work is filling in some information about how ancient Romans used and thought about their sewers thousands of years ago.
New Delhi’s Yamuna River, like much of India’s water, is polluted. The world urgently needs low-carbon ways to clean things up.
Much of the world still lacks access to proper sanitation and clean water - an issue that needs urgent action. But without low-carbon technologies, clean water could come at the expense of the climate.
Concrete sewers such as this are suffering corrosion partly because of the chemical used to remove particles that cause cloudiness from drinking water.
Australian sewers are being corroded partly because of an additive used in the drinking water treatment process. In some cases the lifetime of concrete pipes is being reduced by up to 90%. But much of…
Trouble is brewing underneath the city.
London’s sewerage system is one of the wonders of the industrial world, and a prize example of great Victorian feats of engineering. The system was designed by the visionary Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan…
Run, don’t walk.
It was a ball of grease so enormous, so destructive and so repugnant that not just London, but the whole world, recoiled in horror. The city’s biggest-ever fatberg lurked under Kingston-upon-Thames for…