Australia is, for the most part, really dry.
Most of us live on the Eastern Seaboard with big rivers, taps that never run out and consistent rainfall. However, just over those big mountains known as the Great Dividing Range, things dry out pretty quickly and you start to consider more carefully where your water is coming from… and where it goes.
Every time you flush the toilet, that’s 5-11 litres down the drain. Times that by four people flushing twice a day, and that's enough for each household to be watering 10 fruit trees with 20 litres per week each; a great start for a fruit tree in getting established.
Flushing toilets are the biggest individual contributor to household water usage. I recently learned that Greater Sydney sends 2000 million litres of treated wastewater out to sea every day. An incredible amount of energy and resources make this black magic happen. That water – and the nutrients from our own waste – could instead be piped the other way over those hills, to become the perfect fertiliser and irrigation for our own food crops, providing phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. It would save millions of litres of water currently being drained from the poor old Murray River, plus all that expensive chemical fertiliser.
You only have to look at a septic tank's seepage pit to see an area of extreme fertility.