General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Where does the poop go?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10724points) November 2nd, 2016

So, after I poop and flush where does it go?

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19 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

If you live in a town/city with a sewage system, through the sewers to the sewage treatment plant.

Or, you may have a septic system where it is stored in a septic tank.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

With the sewers, there is a huge system of treatment and disposal that most of us ever see or even imagine.

Five Largest Wastewater Treatment Plants in the World

Ltryptophan's avatar

Someone please cradle to grave us on a poop.

kritiper's avatar

With a septic tank, the poop gets a certain amount of degradation as it settles on the floor of the tank. (Excess fluid is channeled out into a drain field.) When the tank gets just so full, a truck is called out, a small hole is dug where the lid is and the sludge is pumped out. The sludge is then transported to a open field where it is allowed to mingle with the soil.
If you have a sewer system, the poop makes it’s way through to pipe from your house to a large sewer pipe (usually buried in the road or the like). The poop flows to the sewage treatment plant where it is broken down into sludge, it biodegrades somewhat, then the sludge is loaded onto large tanker trucks where it is hauled to a field like described above, and spread about, and probably plowed under at some point.

Coloma's avatar

I know where our horse poop goes over here. Into a giant manure mountain for the garden. 6 horses can build a mountain quickly. You water it with sprinklers and turn it with the tractor and soon it is garden gold spread far and wide across the countryside. lol

Ltryptophan's avatar

How soon is it soil?

Stinley's avatar

Septic tanks that I have had have had an outflow. The contents of the tank break down by bacterial activity (i have sachets of bacterial powder that I add via the toilet that help this process).

The semi-liquid effluent flows out of the tank through a porous pipe across a long distance (¼mile) and the effluent seeps out into the land and is a fertiliser.

The tank does not need emptying unless the bacteria are killed by overuse of bleach. Even then, if you can bear it, adding the sachets and waiting a week should sort it out.

tedibear's avatar

There are companies that do whole house water treatment as well.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

How soon is it soil?

And why is it not a health hazard like pooping on my groceries would be?

Coloma's avatar


It takes about 6 months of watering, turning and baking in the sun to reduce it to, not soil, but the perfect fertilizer/organic amendment to soil. Tomatoes go nuts in a bed of horse manure.Manure fresh out of the horse will burn your plants, high in nitrogen etc.

@Call_Me_Jay Because it is all organic plant material from an herbivore not a carnivore. Just recycled hay and grass and grains.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@Coloma I don’t think cow poop would be OK on my groceries either. But I would guess the 6 months exposed to air and sun is what is killing the bacteria.

Coloma's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Yes, but herbivore poop is not as nasty as carnivore poop. Decomposing meat is way more bacteria laden than decomposing hay and grass.

kritiper's avatar

How dangerous is human poop compared to animal poop? I heard that in Viet-Nam, the bamboo spikes that were laid in traps were tipped with human excrement, not animal.

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kritiper's avatar

How soon is it soil? It can’t be more than 3 or 4 days since our local sewage plant would overflow if it didn’t.

jca's avatar

@kritiper: At the sewage treatment plant they add chemicals to it and put it in mixing machines to break it down.

kritiper's avatar

@jca I know. That’s why I said that it couldn’t take more than 3 or 4 days to process.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I’m sure it takes more than 3 or 4 days. The length of time doesn’t matter as long as the outflow is at least equal to the inflow.

They recently built a HUGE storage facility here for the times that rainwater overwhelms the processing facilities.

Part of it is an old quarry. Check it out – that’s a large cement truck in the picture.

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