Most of us have flushed something down the toilet that we probably shouldn’t have. While we might have experienced passing guilt for being lazy or careless, we probably didn’t predict the damage this can do to our drains (not to mention the impact these items have on our environment and waterways).
To soothe your guilt and prevent future problems, let’s go over a few of the commonly flushed items that should be disposed of elsewhere.
While the packaging may be labelled “flushable”, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Disposable wipes are causing headaches for homeowners and local governments all around the world. After flushing, these wipes become clogged in our drains and cause blockages that cost thousands of dollars to remove. These wipes also soak up and attract grease and oil, which further increases the size of the blockage.
In fact, sewer workers in London recently removed a 15-tonne “fatberg” consisting of disposable wipes, grease and fat from London’s sewers, costing the city thousands of dollars to remove and dispose of.
We all know cotton swabs have a million uses but being disposed of down the toilet isn’t one of them! The cotton washes away from the plastic stick and the sticks become lodged in the pipes, creating a frame for additional item to cling to. Just dispose of these in the bin instead of flushing to avoid this mess.
While band-aids might seem small and able to pass through our drain system, they are actually made of a non-biodegradable plastic that is toxic to fish and other marine life. They are also a common cause of clogged sewers, which often require a drainage contractor to remove.
While paper towel is made up of the same material as toilet paper, CCTV drain surveys reveal that their unique design means they do not break down as toilet paper does. Paper towel often gathers in large stubborn clumps within our drainage system, soaking up fats and grease.
Disposable nappies (or diapers) account for up to 30% of non-biodegradable waste filling our landfills. They are one of the most consumed non-biodegradable products the world over. When flushed, these plastic products become lodged in the pipes and can cause serious pipe ruptures, which can require hydro jet cleaning to remove.
Although it might seem biodegradable, dental floss is actually made of a variety of substances, all of which are non-degradable. Nylon, plastics and wax actually protect the filaments of floss from rotting away, allowing it to wrap around other objects and cause a small blockage to become a big one quickly.
Condoms are made from ultra thin latex that is designed to be strong to prevent ruptures. When they are flushed down a toilet, they become yet another non-degradable object blocking our drains that require professional drain unclogging to dislodge.
Our city’s sewerage systems are important assets that keep us healthy and free from disease. It’s everybody’s responsibility to reduce damage to such a vital public system. Avoid sending the wrong items down the toilet and if it’s already too late, talk to DrainBlasters. We provide drain unblocking, hydro jetting and CCTV inspections for homes and commercial premises throughout Auckland.