Clivus Multrum

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Clivus Multrum (right) and a toilet technician, whose "oil can" is not for lubrication but to prepare the product for another test.

Clivus (Clive) Multrum (1979-) is an American civil engineer and a pioneer in the field of water conservation.

American environmentalism[edit]

Multrum was heavily influenced by American environmentalism, especially the thread that holds that we must make no detectable change to the planet (to the Pacha-mama). This movement came at a time when most American homeowners were drawing drinking water from the ground, peeing in it, and sending it back somewhere else into the ground. This state of affairs horrified Multrum and he began devising inventions at home after work.

Multrum hoped to be able to overcome the need for houses to be firmly attached to the ground. With cellular telephones and electric power via solar power, water and septic were the final two umbilicals. The waterless house could finally be freed from the earth. For example, a helium-filled house would not be bound to its foundation, but could float above it. This would provide a better view of what the neighbors are doing.

Waterless toilet[edit]

Multrum bulled ahead with his innovations. He knew about the work of Jebediah Crapper, whose namesake invention even now sends his descendants to the Courthouse to change their surnames. Nevertheless, Multrum completed work on the waterless toilet and submitted papers to the U.S. Patent Office giving his own name to his invention.

The waterless toilet omits the tranquil pond of water, which was never any use except to the neglected house pet. After the owner performs the act that Peruvians delicately refer to as "the Diligence," he performs a process that is only slightly more complicated than pulling the flush lever:

  • A special powder containing enzymes and bacteria is sprinkled on top, being careful to hit all the surfaces.
  • Two hours later, another layer of sand is added to mitigate the odor.
  • The mixture is transferred into a lower chamber.
  • The user operates a crank, activating rollers, not unlike a wringer washer.

The resulting solid can be used either as a pavement stone or a roofing material.

Waterless water[edit]

Multrum's other notable invention was an instant water pill. (Just add water.) This was somewhat less successful, but was an important step in perfecting the water-free house.

See also[edit]