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Sewer Sociology: Your Business Is My Business

COMMUNITY CENTERClean Water & WaterwaysGreen Homes & BusinessesMar 5, 2015Sarah Crawford

Author: Sarah Crawford

“Don’t wait too long or you will have an accident.”  My 3-year old hears this all the time.  In fact, she has recently started asking me, “Do you need to go potty?”, which I think is some kind of passive-aggressive way to tell me to back off.  I obviously have an issue with letting other people’s “business” stay as their own business because it doesn’t stop at my own children.   I’m interested in everyone’s toilet habits as you have probably noticed from my blogs.  Hey, it comes with the job.

Wastewater from blue areas is pumped to Atlantic Treatment Plant.For the past 3 years I’ve looked at sewage flow during the Super Bowl, and it turns out the region is fairly regular (pun intended)  when it comes to wastewater flow during this unofficial American national holiday.   Trends in Hampton Roads during the 2013 and 2014 Super Bowl games were similar to this year’s game between the Patriots and Seahawks:  wastewater flow was lower than normal after kickoff while everyone was watching the game, with a spike in flow around half-time and a larger spike in flow at the end of the game when everyone who was “holding it” finally ran to the bathroom.  Check out the flow graph of HRSD’s Atlantic Treatment Plant in Virginia Beach and see for yourself (click to enlarge).  If you live in the blue area shown in the map to the left, your flushes are sent to this plant to be cleaned.

And for all of you out there who held it, I just have to say…next time please don’t wait too long or you will have an accident.