That ammo-can groover — or its more modern counterpart, a pickle bucket fitted with a toilet-seat lid — is required gear for overnight boaters on the lower Deschutes River in Oregon this summer.
The Bureau of Land Management has
long beseeched river rats to pack out their sewage from trips along
the popular 100-mile stretch of the river. Human waste breaks down
very slowly in the hot, arid climate. Buried piles threaten to
contaminate the groundwater, and non-buried piles create what
officials call “toilet paper gardens.”
camp sites along the lower Deschutes have outhouses. Although the
BLM has no plans to remove the outhouses, maintaining them is
expensive, and portable potties will cut down on the load, says the
agency’s Robert Towne.
For $1, boaters can empty
their toilets after a boat trip at a brand-new $40,000 “scat
machine” in Maupin, which takes the waste into the
city’s sewer system and washes and sanitizes the