Economic Multipliers (168)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Plumbing tips are an economic multiplier if your toilet won’t flush because you lack incoming water.


If for some reason, you ever lose your pressurized water supply, these are a few tips to make your ‘sanitized’ life a lot more enjoyable.

Remember: MOST toilets will flush with a bucket of water. And there’s an old saying that’s useful for emergencies: ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.’ Don’t let solids build up.

If you know beforehand that the water is going to be shut off, do (A).

(A): Fill a bathtub, sinks, buckets and/or containers with water that can be put in the tank (for flushing) or be used to speedily yet carefully pour a bucket of water into the bowl to flush.

If a major storm is incoming and there is any possibility the water supply will shut down, do (A). If necessary and/or practical, save rainwater, stormwater or water from a sump pump.

If you end up with no incoming water and have flooding, any water without solids can be used to flush a toilet.

If flooding has occurred, you believe local sanitary sewers have been affected and floodwaters are not in your home but close, use two buckets of water to flush any solids. If water is still flowing in the sanitary system, it has probably slowed down and extra water reduces the likelihood that anything could clog along the way.

If water is scarce (maybe the water supply got shut off in a desert area), it’s an emergency and it’s possible to do so, see if you can rig up some sort of portapotty or large pail lined with a plastic bag for ‘solids’ visits (many cultures just squat). You can use toilets for as much liquid as possible (but it will smell). The plastic bag on a pail/bucket can be closed between visits (a lid or a tie and each person could potentially have their own pail … perhaps in a garage or shed or on a ‘privatized’ porch). Many U.S. oldsters (80+ years in 2016) used to have a porcelain chamber pot with a lid (no plastic bags) that was used indoors in cold weather at night and emptied in an outhouse during the day.

You may have a waste station locally that accommodates campers where waste can be disposed of later. Do not put sanitary waste in your local garbage. If it’s dry and sunny, you may be able to bake the solid waste VERY dry (preferably away from houses). Garbage disposal or onsite burial might be OK after it’s very dry. A light surface application in sunny non-garden areas where children and pets don’t play during a time when no rain is forecast might be OK. Check with local waste authorities.

Appreciate that campers for years have dug shallow trenches 100 feet or more away from any surface water source in sparsely populated areas for ‘sanitary waste disposal.’ Outhouses are still common in many remote areas downstream from tapped water supplies. You have to think differently in populated areas.

If water has entered any level of your home, stop using your toilets until the water has receded. You don’t want wastewater from an upper floor exiting toilets and drains on a lower flooded level. And, once the water has receded, use any wind and sun to help you dry out as much as possible immediately. UV light helps disinfect things, including plastic bags.

If you have a septic system and your drainage field is flooded, it’s worthwhile to stop using/loading your sanitary system temporarily if you can.

If, in some ‘sanitary’ emergency, you’re endowed with emergency power and an electric composting toilet that’s in a dry area, there’s nothing to say. You’re probably out helping some neighbor right now.


Since all plumbing systems have ‘nuances,’ ask your plumber or local waste authorities if these things make sense relative to your plumbing situation in case you ever have an emergency.

And, if you have discretionary income and can ‘think ahead’ more readily than most others, use some of that discretionary income to make sure you’re never part of any ‘sanitary’ emergency. That may be as simple as designating a bucket or pail and setting aside a few extra plastic bags. (I’d buy a windup flashlight first, though, that required no batteries, if you don’t already have one. It’s easier to get places if you can see where you are going.)