Talking Sanitation on Skeptically Speaking

By | 2018-01-11T09:22:12+00:00 March 21st, 2011|3 Comments

I was delighted to be a guest on the Skeptically Speaking radio show/ podcast recently – I spoke with host Desiree Schell about why toilets (and other related forms of sanitation) are so great. In fact, the whole episode is dedicated to the topic of “Sewer Science,” and also features University of York’s Alistair Boxall discussing pharmaceutical contaminants. The previous episode focuses on municipal water systems and water fluoridation, and there are many other fascinating health-related episodes on the site available for downloading or online listening.

My past posts on sanitation in the developing world include “From the Broad Street Pump to Flying Toilets: Cities’ Need for Sanitation” and “In Praise of Toilets.”

About the Author:

Liz Borkowski
Liz Borkowski, MPH is the managing editor of the journal Women's Health Issues and a researcher at the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Her blog posts are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of her employer.


  1. Paul K March 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Awesome! Untouchables, composting toilets…

    It would be really interesting to hear more on this blog about composting toilets. Also water recycling is really interesting. Dehydrate pasteurize toilets also seem like a workable solution.

    Cloudcroft New mexico, and Windhoek, Namibia are currently practicing toilet to tap water recycling – direct water recycling. The issues are very interesting, but this sort of thing is very important and may be required in many many more cities as global warming produces water shortages.

    In the 50s, Chanute Kansas was forced to recycle all their water toilet-to-tap with of course only the technology they had back then for a couple of months.

    Plus IIRC indirect recycling, where the water sits for some time in a body of some sort for a while between toilet and tap doesn’t change the contaminants much compared with direct recycling…

  2. Liz Borkowski March 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Paul! I’m glad to know there are other people out there who are interesting in composting toilets.

  3. Dick March 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    One good place to get information about composting toilets is the Resource Institute for Low Entropy Systems (RILES). They have projects underway in several countries, sometimes in conjunction with sustainable development and ecologically sound water supply. See

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