DISASTERS, FINANCES, NUTRIENTS, AND CLIMATE CHANGE: A CASE FOR WATERLESS SANITATION SYSTEMS
Smith, Ryan A.
Darken, Rudolph P.
Mackin, Thomas J.
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The practice of sewering (transporting with underground pipes) human excreta began in in the mid-1800s and propelled the United States into the current wastewater paradigm. Water is the key element of wastewater conveyance, treatment, and disposal/reuse systems. Although this process has arguably improved quality of life, extending it to manage human excreta with water is becoming problematic due to water's increasing scarcity, mounting costs, contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and deleterious environmental effects. This thesis sought to answer the following central research question: To what extent would an alternative means of managing human excreta benefit homeland security? Through appreciative inquiry and structured interviews with human subjects, research revealed that a method known as container-based sanitation has applications in multiple contexts. Container-based sanitation is rapidly deployable, scalable, and can be used in any situation in which traditional wastewater systems are nonoperable or nonexistent, such as disaster recovery, homelessness, and temporary encampments such as refugee camps or military bases.
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