The toilet is one of the hardest working components in your home. The device is often overlooked because of its reliability and most folks would struggle without its contribution to our daily lives. After each flush, your home’s plumbing system directs the waste to your septic tank or local sewage treatment plant. Since the toilet, septic system and/or sewage treatment plant were designed to treat and dispose of bodily waste, nothing else should ever be flushed. With that being said, the following items are things you should never flush to avoid damage to your home’s plumbing system and our environment.
- Grease, fat, cooking oil and shortening should never enter your home’s drain lines. It may be a liquid when you pour it in, but it will solidify once it cools and lead to a blockage.
- Dental floss is not biodegradable and it can become entangled or snagged within the pipes and lead to an eventual blockage.
- Condoms or prophylactics and their wrappers are also not biodegradable. The trashcan was invented to handle materials such as this.
- Kitty Litter is another inert material that should never enter a septic system or sewage treatment plant. In addition, since pet waste is also harmful to septic systems, it should be disposed of properly by placing in the trash.
- Hair is one of the leading culprits when it comes to a clogged drain. Most often, it affects the bathroom sink or tub drain by becoming tangled in the pop-up drain assembly. However, it can have the same effect in your sewer line by becoming snagged and trapping other waste, which leads to a blockage.
- Feminine products are designed to absorb moisture through expansion. It should go without saying what happens when they enter a confined space full of water.
- Paper towels are an absorbent material much thicker than toilet tissue. They can save the day in an emergency — no toilet tissue — but should never be flushed. Place dirty paper towels in a plastic bag and dispose of them properly, in the trash.
- Cigarette butts are an inert material that does not degrade in your septic system and that is where they end up if you flush them. They can kill the microorganisms in your septic tank required to break down organic material. If this happens, you will face an expensive repair bill to say the least.
- Band-aids contain plastics that are not biodegradable and should never be flushed.
- Expired medication and other drugs that are flushed eventually find their way into our water supply. They should never be flushed or placed in the trash for that matter. Your local pharmacy will gladly dispose of your unwanted prescriptions free of charge.
Simply stated, the things you should never flush include everything but bodily waste and toilet tissue. Following this advice will keep your plumbing flowing smooth and help protect our environment.
For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.
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Image photographer: Laura Ritchie
Image Title: Toilet