Environmental Crisis Closes Beaches


(ModernSurvival.org) – Raw sewage is a breeding ground for a variety of nasty diseases. Normally, human waste isn’t much of a concern once it’s flushed. On occasion, however, this refuse returns to haunt humanity. Thanks to a single blocked line in California, residents of one community are learning firsthand just how bad a sewage spill can be.

One blocked sewer line in a nearby restaurant has flooded Newport Beach with roughly 50,000 gallons of raw sewage. The leak is forcing authorities to close the surrounding beaches to surfing, swimming, and diving until the waters become safe once again.

While this situation is nothing to scoff at, it pales in comparison to a New Year’s weekend spill caused by heavy rainfall in Los Angeles. Seven million gallons of sewage contaminated the ocean during that crisis.

It’s pretty obvious that raw sewage can be harmful to one’s health since it can lead to a surprising number of diseases. With that in mind, what would happen if all the country’s sewer systems suddenly stopped working? What can a person do when they inevitably have to go?

Disposing of Human Waste in a Catastrophe

In modern times, many luxuries have become so ingrained in society that most people take them for granted. For instance, consider what would happen in the aftermath of a catastrophe when human waste can no longer be flushed away.

In urban and suburban areas, especially those with high population density, disruption of public services (specifically, sewage) would become a major problem in a matter of days. Not only would the stench of accumulating human waste become overwhelming, but the risk of illness would skyrocket. Should the toilet stop working, how could the average person dispose of their waste?

To answer this question, City Prepping has provided the following video:

For those who live in the country or are on a septic system, waste disposal won’t be as much of a problem. Septic systems do not rely on public services to operate, and even if those go down, burying or burning waste is an option (although a worst-case one). However, for everyone else, getting rid of excrement could become a big issue.

If flushing the toilet is off-limits due to backed-up sewage lines, there are some options for dealing with waste. First, be sure to shut off the water to the toilets in the home, an accidental flush could lead to serious sanitation issues should the backup come flowing out of the toilet. Once the water is shut off, here are some options for taking care of waste:

Use the Toilet

Even if you can’t flush the toilet, you can still make use of it. Empty the water from the tank and the bowl, then double-layer trash bags inside. When the bags fill, seal them and place them in a designated area until sanitation services begin operating again.

Build a Disaster Toilet

If emptying the water from the toilet isn’t an appealing task (or the toilet has overflowed already), then creating a disaster toilet may be a better option. This will require a five-gallon bucket, a pool noodle, and several trash bags. Cut the noodle lengthwise so it can fit over the edge of the bucket, providing a somewhat comfortable place to sit. Place the trash bags inside the bucket with the edges overlapping the bucket’s top, then use the pool noodle to hold them in place.

After each use, a layer of sawdust, dirt, or even cat litter can be added to reduce smells and prevent insects from being attracted to the contents. When the bucket isn’t in use, the lid can be put on to reduce odors, as well.

When the bags get full or unbearable, tie them off and move them to an appropriate location such as a dumpster. Do not place them near flowing water, or any place where people will be interacting. Human waste contamination can lead to many health problems and should be avoided at all costs.

Disposing of human waste won’t be the only issue following a disaster. Getting rid of everyday garbage will be a problem as well. To see some options on how to handle trash in a grid-down situation, check out our article here.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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