Urban Times brings you the first in a new series, ‘Logic Rules’ – examining the many logical behaviours we eschew for illogical reasons. This week: It’s logical to pee in the bath or shower, so why don’t we? After all, it’s larger than a latrine, easier to hose down, and wastes a fraction of the water…
Today, like any other day, I walked into the lavatory to take a leak. For some reason I looked to the side. The shower door was open. I looked at the drain. And then it hit me:
Pee in the shower… Sound disgusting? Maybe, but hear me out before you make up your mind.
Pee in the shower.
Sound disgusting? Maybe, but hear me out before you make up your mind. The shower, or bath, is a perfectly reasonable place to urinate in. It is larger than a latrine, easier to hose down, and wastes a fraction of the water.
Let me put it another way. Imagine roughly four billion people or so, who live in places with proper sanitation i.e. latrines. Let us assume that half of them have flush toilets. Now let’s say that these people take a leak three times a day on average. Let us also assume than an average flush uses roughly ten liters of water.
This makes for thirty liters a day, per individual. Multiply that by two billion individuals and you have a whopping sixty billion liters of water being flushed per day.
Multiply that by 365 days and you get a mind-boggling 21,900,000,000,000 liters. 22 trillion liters of water down the drain to wash away some piss.
One tenth of 21.9 trillion is roughly two trillion liters. Which means you have saved twenty trillion liters of water per year!
Here’s a crazy idea. Instead of peeing in the toilet, just walk into the shower or the bath, unzip your pants and take a leak there. Aim at the drain, so you don’t get it all over the place, and switch on the tap if you want to help carry the urine away. Then take the shower head and rinse off the area, zip up, and presto, you have wasted one liter of water max instead of ten.
Let’s do the math. One tenth of 21.9 trillion is roughly two trillion liters. Which means you have saved twenty trillion liters of water per year!
I don’t know about you, but I think this is a hell of a lot of water saved.
FAIR ENOUGH, BUT…
What about women, one wonders? They can’t just whip it out and pee like men can.
True. But they could use a pedestal on which to stand and pee from. It would involve placing it in the shower, or bath, plus a few more seconds of rinsing it down when they’re done, and a few more to remove it, but that’s about it really.
Of course such a pedestal doesn’t exist. There’s no demand for it yet, therefore no supply. In fact, most people with sanitation still use the toilet for Number One.
But things will change soon. One day the reality will sink in and people will realize that trillions of liters of water is an awful lot of water to waste. If we are able to save it so easily, we should. We’d be fools not to.
So, today, to mark my epiphany, I walked inside my shower and peed in the drain, with the tap slightly on to take the urine away, then hosed everything down and walked away a happy man, having used up a fraction of the water I use normally. I urge everyone to do the same.
PS – guys, shower-peeing also means no more sprinkling the area around the latrine with piss – or, worse yet, sitting down on the seat and sprinkling your buttocks, which you then have to wash. And girls, no more arguing about the seat being left up instead of down.
There you go. A little something for everyone.
The original article first appeared in Urban Times.