This past August, Shawn Shafner traveled to Brattleboro, VT to join Urine Diversion Summit 2016—a conference brimming with pee-ple making waves over how we “make water.” While The Puru didn’t want to disrupt the flow, he was able to divert a few participants away from micturation and into the microphone for some short interviews. Thus: The Lil’ Tinklers.
In Part 2, wee-wee will learn about how shaking the dew off your lily can affect the frogs on their pads, and how wastewater treatment plants are struggling to keep up with the stream. First we’ll meet Rachel Mullen, a graduate student in environmental analytical chemistry. She partners with the Rich Earth Institute to study what percentage of the pharmaceuticals that leave your body in pee (HINT: a lot) are taken up by peas, lettuce, and other vegetables (HINT: not very much). Then we’ll chat with Dan Marks, mild-mannered wastewater engineer by day, subversive urine-separating enthusiast by night. He’ll explain how 1972’s Clean Water Act brought centralized sewage into the modern age, why we’re now falling dangerously behind, and what even greater threats may lie just beyond the horizon. But don’t get pissed off! Instead pop a Xanax, put on the popdcast, and void your body of all anxiety.
Also mentioned: Kim Nace, Abe Noe-Hays, University of Buffalo, molecular, crops, wee wee, morphine, caffeine, iopamide, toxicology, parts per billion, FDA, sex toys, tampons, acetominophen, dosage, metabolism, effluent, menstruation, hormone replacement therapy, research funding, discomfort, Louis C. K., Buddhism, suffering, Freakonomics radio, cardiology, good Jew, flannel, aging infrastructure, “end of its useful life,” pipes, upgrade, regulation, regulatory burden, EPA, DEP, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, primary, secondary, tertiary, organic matter, bacteria, digestion, fixed, fluid, media, discharge, suspended solids, capital costs, operations, “contaminants of emerging concern,” personal care products, Blinky the fish, The Simpsons, Daniel Gerling, Flush documentary, autonomy, technology, science