We all toss items down the drain and watch them magically disappear without a second thought as to where they go. However, many of the things we send down our pipes clog drains and contaminate the water in our lakes, rivers and oceans.
Drains easily handle the disposal of water and small particles of food and organic matter. Drains often react negatively when introduced to items such as hair, bones, grease, metal, plastics and any non-biodegradable items larger than a ping pong ball. So, what common household garbage do most people dump down the drain?
Coffee grounds win the contest as the biggest offender. Everyone loves their morning cup of joe, but many mistakenly toss their grounds in the sink instead of the trash. Coffee grounds and tea leaves cause severe blockage problems in pipes.
Disposal of Grease, Fats and Oils
Grease, fats and oils follow close behind in second place as perhaps the most damaging substance to be wrongfully dumped in our sewer systems. These slimy substances do not mix with water, and their buildups cause costly and hazardous sewer overflows. To properly dispose grease, fats and oils, chill them in your fridge or freezer until they become solid.. Then, pitch them in a sealed bottle, and throw the container away.
A few more things that create problems with drains and sewers are the little plastic produce stickers found on many fruits and vegetables, paper towels, cat litter (even flushable litter), eggshells, medication, facial tissue and flushable wipes. The word ‘flushable’ does not mean that it should go down the drain. Flushable wipes do not disintegrate like toilet paper, and cause problems clogging sewers every year.
So next time you plan to dump something down the drain, take a second to consider what damage it may cause once it’s in your drain and sewer system. If unsure, throw it in the trash.