Have you ever had to go to the bathroom in an outhouse? 

If you never have, I envy you. 

Although I’ve used outhouses only a handful of times in my life, every single time I’ve had the displeasure I pray that it’s the last time I will ever have to experience it. 

Outhouses are disgusting. 

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to use one, remember to HOLD YOUR BREATH!

I recently wondered what my city, Toronto, would be like if we didn’t have all of these sewer pipes under our feet carrying away all of our sanitary waste. 

What if we all had outhouses? 

For me that would be pure hell for many reasons, the least of which would be the inconvenience. 

Imagine all 3 million people in the City of Toronto dumping their sanitary waste in various pits throughout the city. 

All of Toronto would smell like a public washroom. 

But even worse than the smell would be the diseases that we would catch from all that bacteria filled waste contaminating our ground water and lakes. 

It’s not just about the smell. 

There are many nasty organisms in our waste such as typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, and E coli. 

Without sanitary sewers and sewage treatment plants, our life expectancy would be a lot shorter. 

There are various sanitary sewer pipe materials in use today, the most common being Vinyl and concrete. 

When you compare the two materials for sanitary applications, Vinyl has many advantages such as:

1) Vinyl pipe is significantly smoother which allows for a smaller diameter pipe to be installed at a lower slope to provide the same flow capacity which saves on excavation and construction costs

2) Vinyl pipe has superior abrasion resistance and will outlast traditional pipe materials in sanitary applications where there is solid debris flowing through the pipe

3) Vinyl pipe is completely resistant to bacteria and viruses

4) Vinyl pipe has superior chemical resistance

The good news is that if you live in Canada, the sanitary sewer pipes under your house are almost certainly Vinyl. 

Most municipalities in Canada use only Vinyl pipe for sanitary sewers, which makes sense from an economic and performance standpoint. 

Vinyl pipe is proven to deliver. 

I find it fascinating how much work our buried sewer pipes perform basically for free. 

When sewer pipes are installed properly, they are sized and sloped so that the pipe never flows more than 80% full and the velocity of the wastewater never slows below the pipe’s self-cleansing velocity so the pipe always cleans itself. 

Our buried sewer pipes take our bacteria-filled waste away from our homes, transport the waste safely underground, use only gravity (require no energy input), and clean themselves. 

What’s not to love?