By MALCOLM MARSHALL A few decades ago, the world would have been awash in clean water.
Now, thanks to dirty toilets, there is only water to wash your hands.
And that is leaving a trail of contaminated waste in the water.
In the 1970s, the US imported $30 billion worth of cheap plumbing systems, many of which were made from recycled plumbing materials, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
It also spent more than $40 billion on pollution control equipment, according the agency.
Today, the dirty toilets have become part of our daily lives, and are part of the way we use water.
The EPA says that the vast majority of the toilets that are used in the US are not made of recycled plumbing, but are instead manufactured from old and corroded plumbing material.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.