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How Do Toilets Work?

Transcript-How Do Toilets Work
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When you have to go, where does it go? Prepare for some potty humor as we hear from engineer Francis de los Reyes. In this episode, you'll hear all about toilet science and history. What did people do before toilets? And how can toilet science flush to the future?

The Story of Toilets episode art. Smiling toilet with globe in the background.



Photo of Dr. de los Reyes

Dr. Francis de los Reyes is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University. He researches and teaches proper wastewater treatment and sanitation, improving the lives of developing countries.

Here's a short introduction video from his university:

Francis also has a TED Talk, where he discusses the future of sanitation:

Interested in more toilet talk? Francis has a short TED Ed lesson on the history of toilets!


Remember the ancient Roman bathhouses and their communal sponge? Check out these pictures! Seems like an… interesting experience.

Here's an illustration of the potty talk!

Illustration of ancient Romans talking on the toilets. One is cleaning the sponge in a stream of water.

Here's what these bathrooms look like now in real life:

Photo of remains of the Roman toilets

Finally, here's the communal stick + sponge! Doesn't look too safe.

Photo of a sponge that is attached to the tip of a stick.

Learn more in our bonus interview episode with Francis, available on Patreon!


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