Toilet, trains…

03Jun10

I flushed the toilet in my bathroom on the 28th floor and wondered where the water went. Did it plummet straight down a 300 ft shaft to a 19th century sewer arched with carefully laid bricks? Or did tall buildings have multiple downpipes which spiral around each other like architectural DNA connecting to a stinking canal system of smooth concrete?

From my window I could see a Harbour and an Opera House. Under the Harbour there were tunnels and cables and over the Harbour there was a conspicuous Bridge. Everywhere there were lights and roads and traffic and people.  The infrastructure that made it all work just did what it was meant to do and nobody noticed.

I thought about how much I like infrastructure. I often spend idle moments wondering how it all works and how people have solved problems like making sure that there is a constant water supply to a bathroom on the 28th floor and a mechanism to remove waste water that doesn’t make anyone wet on the floors below.

When I was in Lapland I spent a long time wondering how they managed to pipe water into people’s homes and remove sewage without anything freezing when it was minus 30 deg C.

I do like infrastructure. Engineers are very clever and under-recognised.

Outside the contents of my toilet were probably already lapping the shores of the harbour in front of the Opera House.



2 Responses to “Toilet, trains…”

  1. 1 John

    “Outside the contents of my toilet were probably already lapping the shores of the harbour in front of the Opera House.”

    And you moaned about that dog doing one on your lawn!!!!!!

  2. 2 Camilla

    “Approximately 0.5 per cent of Sydney’s sewage is discharged untreated to the ocean at Vaucluse, Diamond Bay and Diamond Bay South”. Which implies that 99.5% is teated to varying levels. I think you should spend some time browsing http://www.sydneywater.com.au/majorprojects/EasternSuburbs/VaucluseDiamondBayandRoseBay.cfm and of course http://www.sydneywater.com.au/Oursystemsandoperations/


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