The Tallest Building In the World Has No Sewer System

You would think that the world’s tallest building — a structure that requires amazingly complex engineering and technology to reach its heights — would have an impressive sewer system. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the Burj Khalifa, the building that reaches 2,722 feet — or just over half a mile — into the sky. The skyscraper isn’t hooked up to a municipal wastewater treatment system, so the waste is trucked out. You read that right — one of the world’s most advanced buildings relies on an archaic method of transporting wastewater to a treatment facility outside of town. Apparently, construction outpaced installation of such an important component of the building, and now it doesn’t have the capacity to handle the output from the 2,722-foot tower. Dubbed the “Temple of Poop,” the Burj Khalifa holds about 35,000 people who produce an estimated 7 tons of poop per day, plus all the additional wastewater for showers and so on, totaling up to 15 tons of wastewater per day. Trucks often wait in line for up to 24 hours before they can offload their payload. The inefficiency of such a system is mind-boggling and raises the issue of how architecture is more than just designing a great building.