Thursday, November 20, 2008

The essential toilet

Perhaps unnoticed by many - if not all - people in Northwest Ohio, today is World Toilet Day, promoted by the World Toilet Organization.

(Of course - to have a 'day' you first have to have an organization.)

The WTO also sponsors a World Toilet Summit along with an Expo & Forum to draw attention to good sanitary conditions. From their website:

"Founded in 2001 with 15 members, it now has 151 member organizations in 53 countries working towards eliminating the toilet taboo and delivering sustainable sanitation.

WTO was created as a global network and service platform wherein all toilet and sanitation organizations can learn from one another and leverage on media and global support that in turn can influence governments to promote sound sanitation and public health policies."

They also started the world's first World Toilet College (WTC) providing "training in toilet design, maintenance, School Sanitation and Disaster Sanitation and implementation of Sustainable Sanitation systems."

In many places in the world, sanitation is a critical issue, which is why this is being suggested:

"Speaking at the recent World Toilet Summit in Macau, World Toilet Organisation founder Jack Sims said the concept of the flushing toilet was unsustainable.

Mr Sims said a culture where people flushed their loos but disregarded the thousands of litres of wasted drinking water each year was one of sanitation's greatest challenges."

And, of course, the best solution is a usage tax:

"There have already been calls by Australian experts to reduce the amount of water wasted through toilet flushing with a proposed new toilet tax.

Adelaide University's Water Management Professor Mike Young said the tax would encourage people to take shorter showers, recycle washing machine water or connect rainwater tanks to internal plumbing.

"Some people may go as far as not flushing their toilet as often, as the less sewage you produce the less the rate you pay," Professor Young said."

Under their plan, Australian households would be charged for the amount of water they flushed down the drain. This taxing scheme would replace the current ones in which sewage charges are based solely on a home's value and not its waste water output.

In Toledo, and most places in the U.S., we are charged by volume for both water consumption and sewage treatment, so it looks like we're already doing our part in the effort.

Some interesting toilet facts you never wanted to know:

* The average person spends three years of their life on the toilet.

* Researchers have found that girls really do take longer to go than boys.

* The average person visits the toilet 2,500 times a year - about six to eight times a day.

* The first time there were separate male and female toilets were at a posh party in Paris in 1739.

* What it's called: powder room, lavatory, outhouse, ladies, loo, convenience, washroom, men's room, bathroom, dunny, bog, khazi, gents, garderobe, necessary, women's room, restroom, potty, privy, the smallest room, cloakroom, latrine, place of easement, water closet (WC), john, can, little girls' room, little boys' room, throne room, facilities, head.

* In China there are public toilets for dogs.

* The first toilet cubicle in a public washroom is the least likely to be used: it is also the cleanest.

* Most toilets flush in the key of E flat.

* The average toilet is flushed eight times a day.

Happy World Toilet Day!

5 comments:

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

While I am perfectly willing to celebrate one of the single most important contributions to civilized society, indoor plumbing, I am appalled to discover that such a monumental accomplishment should be used as an excuse to tax and regulate.

I guess that it only proves that the rest of the world is likewise plagued with something not eliminated by better sanitation practices ... liberal thinking.

Mad Jack said...

What it's called...

Where's the head? Or, in Captain Maggie's case, 'Where's the officer's gallery?'

Skip said...

3 years of my life down the drain! What a bunch of.....ah, never mind.

Carol said...

Now I can really impress a bunch of people with this knowledge! Thanks! :)

Did you have loo in that list?

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maggie,

Thanks for posting about World Toilet Day.

I am flushed with embarrassment to admit my ignorance of both the WTO and WTD...

And, with my newly expanded knowledge of/on everything "toidy," I can reighn yet again as DaBore of any party :-)

(Merry/Happy/Prosperous WTD, whichever is appropriate.)

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