• Kimberly Worsham

FLUSH Attends Conference in Jordan


Some Nabatean water pipes

In September, FLUSH attended an IWA conference in Jordan. The conference focused on ancient practices around water and wastewater management.


It was an interesting conference filled with academics who shared stories of their historical findings from different regions of the world - from Finland to Thailand.


We learned a few interesting pieces that we will be including in future classes. Some of these lessons include:

-The Romans were even less hygienic about their waste than we initially thought - home toilets were usually located near the kitchen! As a result, diarrheal diseases like dysentery were common.

-The Chinese have been separating urine and feces for hundreds of years - since the 14th century!

-Sewage farms - when sewage is used on farmland for both water irrigation and fertilization - have a long history. They've been around since the 16th century in Poland.


We also took a day trip to the famous UNESCO Site in the country - Petra. There, we learned about the Nabatean communities and their ingenious ways to store and transport water in the middle of the dessert. They used clay pipes to move around the water in some places.

How did they relieve themselves? Probably in pits. Luckily - the water pipes protected the water from getting contaminated by the waste.

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