Keep it Out: Things Not to Put in your Plumbing

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Just because an object is out of sight, doesn’t mean it should be out of mind. Especially when that object is being flushed down the drain into our water system. Too often, items find a way into our toilets and drains that can cause adverse effects on our home and the environment. Improper disposal can damage home plumbing, sewer pipes, wastewater treatment plants and local aquatic habitats.

If you’re hoping to avoid these repercussions, take a look at the following guidelines regarding what not to flush down the drain:

Cooking grease, oils and fats
When you’re finished cooking, don’t let cooking grease slide down the drain with a little soap and water. Don’t rely on the garbage disposal, either, as it will not stop these oils from clogging your drain. A great way to dispose of bacon grease or extra oils or fats is in an empty milk or orange juice carton. These have linings, so the grease doesn’t soak through. Also, consider an old Mason jar or pickle jar for disposal.

Hygiene products
A plumber friend once told me, “Those tampon boxes lie.” And though flushing tampons may seem quick and easy, as my friend suggested, they are often the culprit of many clogged toilets. Even if they do pass through the sewer pipes, they can damage equipment at wastewater treatment plants. While tampons are the most common, many hygiene products are flushed without too much consideration. In order to protect your toilet and other pipes from clogging, it is recommended that you don’t flush the following:

Tampons, sanitary pads
Cotton Swabs
Dental floss
Facial tissue
Paper towels
These products weren’t designed for your pipes or for your communities’ sewage system. Keeping these products out of pipes and drains will help you, your community and the environment. Make sure to keep a lined wastebasket in your home’s bathroom so guests know there is a spot to throw away these kinds of items.

Keeping old medicine in the house is a hazard, especially if there are children in the home, but flushing drugs down the drain is a bad idea for your sewage system and the environment. Drug and medicinal dumping is a very unfortunate and hazardous dumping process that is finding a way into today’s sewage. It’s important for consumers to understand how pharmaceuticals are damaging to our environment. Some commonly flushed products include both prescription and non-prescription drugs, such as painkillers, antibiotics and pet products.

Remember that just because something can be flushed down the toilet or put down a drain, doesn’t mean that it should. Older homes’ pipes will clog quicker, but disposing of the wrong items in your toilet or drain could damage the plumbing of newer homes as well. You endanger your plumbing system, which could be a big expense, but worse, the effect some of these products have on the environment could be very damaging.

If you are in need of consulting with a technician on your plumbing needs, look no further than The Eco Plumbers. Contact our plumbers in Columbus, Ohio!

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