Bill Gates helps to reinvent the sewage treatment facility

By Shawn Knight · 38 replies
Jan 6, 2015
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  1. Dealing with human waste is a serious issue in many parts of the world. Disease caused by poor sanitation kills roughly 700,000 children each year and is likely responsible for preventing countless others from fully developing mentally and physically.

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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,355   +2,004

    Nothing less than impressive .... Gates might actually redeem himself before he's gone!
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,109   +1,286

    I would like to know what he did that needs redemption.

    Regardless of what you speak, there's a good chance that his achievements outweigh any negatives. What more can you expect of the man who founded microsoft? He's one of the most philanthropic entrepreneurs in the world.

    On the article....

    I can see this being useful in many areas where water is scarce or waste disposal is difficult. Unlike a regular waste to energy plant, this unit will also produce sanitized drinking water. The big question is, does it still create an awful stench like a waste to energy plant?
  4. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,473   +377

    As fantastic as such facilities are, the issue often comes down to initial capital costs. This cost often exceed what local or provincial governments are willing to pay without extensive private financial support or heavy government subsidies, especially in less developed areas. It's one of many reasons why you don't see desalination plants in areas that would make complete sense to have them. At least with this Omniprocessor it's more than just waste disposal, as water and electricity are exceedingly important.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    @madboyv1, that reference is to the burning of waste. It does not speak for the whole process the treatment facility must go through to make it all possible.
  6. theruck

    theruck TS Booster Posts: 124   +35

    I dont believe it. you must have a very clean and instant sewage to be able to run such plant without technical and logistical issues. also since when is the destiled water usable for drinking? destiled water is not for drinking except special circumstances.
    so what has Bill reinvented?
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    You realize that MS-DOS - the product MS is founded on, was procured in a fairly underhanded manner from Seattle Computer Products right? And that Gates and Allen basically mislead SCP on licence procurement of their addition to the no small matter of MS's many and varied cases of litigation, including U.S. antitrust violation, long running EU antitrust violations, and a fairly lengthy list of patent infringement.

    History is littered with philanthropists who could afford to be so by accruing cash from less than philanthropic endeavours previously. Another well known monopolist, John D. Rockefeller, rehabilitated his public image in the same way.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,738   +3,706

    The facility is for sewage removal not drinking water. You're concentrating on a positive side effect of the main objective.
  9. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Guru Posts: 306   +73

    Distilled water is the purest water, and it is drinkable (won't kill you). After such an engineering feat, it would be trivial to add any minerals necessary to make it healthier.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Distilled water can be consumed, in quantity without any ill effects, it's the purest form of water although by nature it has a brackish taste. I don't know about the effects of destiled water on humans, I never knew such a thing as destiled water even existed.
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    This is a brilliant solution to a crappy problem. Now all that's left to do is educate some people on how to use the loo. I recently read that some communities in India were using the porta-potties delivered to them by the government as a convenient storage space because they never realised it's true purpose.
    Believe it or not, 1000's of Russian soldiers who marched into Berlin during the fall of Germany in 1945 thought the flushing toilet was a potato washing machine.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
    wiyosaya and stewi0001 like this.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,945   +765

    Caution, rant follows:

    The simplest and cheapest means to treat human waste is to compost it. No need for asinine, pun intended :), outrageously expensive, send your drug infested waste to your neighbor's back yard infrastructure. If there were not a bunch of primitive Roman's from centuries ago yelling "phew, that stinks" about their waste instead of realizing its value as fertilizer, we would not have the problem of waste treatment that exists today. Seriously, folks, do your research, waste treatment is a massive problem with a simple solution - composting.

    As I see it, humanity seems to think that the its greatest invention is the flush toilet. Sorry to all you who think this is great news or even better, but this news is another example of humanity outsmarting itself. Composting is simply the least energy intensive means there is and it also has the benefit of making great fertilizer.

    That Bill Gates is behind this means nothing (other than its an appropriate metaphorical place for him to be since being behind someone else is to be in the general direction of their waste). The guy ripped off someone for an operating system and somehow he has become the second coming as well as an expert in everything. In this case, his supposed expertise and/or financial support is less than worthless since it is exacerbating the problem rather than finding a true solution to it.

    Give people in developing nations a composting toilet, and it will solve two problems at the same time: what to do with their waste, and where to get fertilizer for their gardens.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,945   +765

    Check out your local grocery store. They probably have a large supply of it along with all their other bottled water.
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Composting is probably the best way to do things but in these overcrowded cities of ours it's not terribly practical, I think my neighbours might be a little offended if I took a dump in the middle of their yards, likewise I could expect to do a little time up the river if I was caught doing the same thing in a public park.
    Anyway I'm just rambling on about crap.
  15. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    You are talking about countries where people die from a cold... composting a solution... silly kid.
  16. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Colds killing a few people is nothing new, it's the cholera outbreaks that kills the masses which is caused by living in unsanitary conditions.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,945   +765

    Finally, someone with some brains.

    For everyone else, all that needs to be done is to look back at the history of London when the Thames was used as a crapping stream.

    Well, at least as I see it, you are free to crap anywhere you want - assuming you think you can get away with it. However crapping in your neighbor's yard or in the park is, in my opinion, not much different from current public sewage systems; I personally do not see mindless crapping as being the direct equivalent to a modern composting toilet.

    For the simplest example of a composting toilet and just how much space they take, have a look here -

    For systems with higher capacity, have a look here - As I see it, such systems are easily integrated within modern structures. As I understand it, there are big buildings in cities out there that use such systems.

    Or perhaps you were thinking that a community crapping station is needed? Now wouldn't that be a pain when you have to go down the block to crap.
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,945   +765

    And I suppose the solution for such places where monetary resources are almost impossible to come by is to build a waste incinerating plant capable of reaching temps of 1,000 C is the solution. 1,000 C is not an easy temp to reach. Not to mention that such a system is based on the community sewage model where the waste needs a transportation system to reach the treatment plant. Sure makes a lot of sense to me. I suppose such places could qualify for a loan, or their governments could place taxes on them to pay for something like this.

    Yeah, that's the ticket.
  19. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Don't think for one minute this would take off here USA,! While the big profit companies that control our resources would even allow this to past in Congress.

    Electric Companies
    Water Companies
    Oil Companies
    Natural Gas Companies
    Solar Companies
    Fuel Cell Companies

    Sounds like a nice idea but if that where to go into production here which is won't on large scale before of how the USA is managed. 3rd world countries yeah it built because they don't have a piece of the action like they do here.

    Bill Gates has so much billions he needs to invest to keep IRS off his back. So why not invest in this idea.
  20. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    Because of the nature of distilled water, it should not be used as drinking water. There are, in fact, negative consequences to drinking distilled water.
  21. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,084

    like drowning!
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  22. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,173   +989

    OH that subject invites such satire!!! - -

    I thought that was with the delivery of Win/3.1 and its follow-ons! :grin:

    Please don't go postal, that's a joke if you can't tell.
  23. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Well it is 2015.
  24. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    I have yet to see any actual evidence that distilled water will hurt you, it is about as close to pure water as you can get.
  25. h4expo

    h4expo TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +7

    So many critics! Its a new system. It will prove it self in time - not by opinion. Even if it helps a small number of people for lack of feasibility, it is better then ignoring an issue many people don't even know exist.

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