A Day in a Read State (12)

Through Good 360 and the Center’s cornerstone Nebraska Truckloads of Help program, Lincoln’s Center For People In Need receives thousands of book donations from participating non-profits and national companies alike, helping put free books in the homes and schools of low-income and high-need families throughout Nebraska.

Today’s A Day In A Read State, we learn what it takes to be a wastewater treatment plant operator:


First you must choose to enter this profession. You can do it with grammar school, a high school, or a college education.”

Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants, 6th Edition, Chapter 1, by Larry Trumbull.

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Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants: A Field Study Training Program (6th ed., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water Programs, 2004.)

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The variety of books I find on the donation bin at my workplace just never ceases to fascinate me. Pounds of “mixed liquor volatile suspended solids.” Sludge age – is that a New Orleans hardcore punk publication?

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How to maintain adequate municipal gut flora.

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All for the glorification of Venus Cloacina, Etruscan and Roman toilet goddess.


The shrine of Cloacina is attested from as early as Plautus (Curculio 471). It was located on the Via Sacra near the area of the “new shops” (Tabernae Novae) in the middle Republic. The Tabernae Novae were eventually removed to make room for the expanded Basilica Aemilia. The shrine honors the divinity of the Cloaca Maxima, and presumably dates from its construction or a major remodeling, though legend ascribes it to the period of the Sabine Titus Tatius (i.e, the reign of Romulus). At some point, this divinity was for unknown reasons associated with Venus and subsequently called Venus Cloacina, “Venus of the Sewer.”

The coin shown above was minted during the Second Triumvirate in the late 40s BCE by a Lucius Mussidius Longus, and gives the clearest representation of the shrine. existing arhaeological remains conform nicely to the picture on that coin. Pliny (NH 15.119) refers to the “signa Cloacinae,” which were evidently the two statues on the shrine and perhaps some other, unidentified objects. One of the statues is holding or waving an object, which may be a flower. It is not known why there are two statues.”

Today, access to this priesthood is public and manifest. All it takes is desire…and a choice.

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