In the United Kingdom, they call them fatbergs. They are giant conglomerates of grease, sanitary products, wet wipes and other unmentionables that are all flushed down toilets and wreak havoc on municipal wastewater treatment centers.
Flush carefully. Flush responsibly. Remember, there are only three things that should be flushed down your Roanoke toilet: Toilet paper, and items No. 1 and No. 2.
But flushing the wrong things down the toilet in Roanoke and elsewhere is more than a downstream problem. It can also stop up your home pipes or clog sewer lines and cause grave and expensive damage to your home’s plumbing. You should never flush anything down the toilet except three things. One of them is toilet paper. You know the other two.
Here are five things, courtesy of the experts at Southern Trust, to never flush:
- Paper towels or tissues: These products are made to stay together when wet and absorb moisture. They can clog up quickly.
- Garbage: A lot of things people flush down the toilet need to go in the garbage, instead. This includes sanitary napkins, tampons and grease. Some products purport to be “flushable,” including some types of kitty litter and wet wipes. They are not.
- Corrosive liquids or poisons: This is a no-brainer. These substances can not only stress municipal systems, they can actually have an immediate corrosive effect on your toilet or plumbing. These substances can also pose a risk to the health of municipal workers at the wastewater treatment plant.
- Fertilizers: Even house-plant food can have an especially harsh effect on the natural aquatic environment, promoting algal blooms that can smother fish and kill other wildlife.
- Drugs or medicines: Flushing prescription or other drugs down the toilet is not a safe means of disposal. Most wastewater treatment plants have no way to filter out the chemicals contained in prescription medication. This means the compounds are still present when treated wastewater makes its way back into rivers and streams. Thousands of happy or well-medicated fish are not a good thing. There’s very little known about how these chemicals ultimately affect the natural environment.
These rules apply even if you have a septic system on your property. Many of these substances can rapidly foul your septic tank or septic field, and especially dangerous materials can actually kill the microbes that make your septic system function properly.
If you fail to follow these instructions, contact our expert plumbing techs in Roanoke. Southern Trust technicians will still come and clear your commode and repair your plumbing, of course. But remember, what goes down the toilet can effect things far beyond your own property lines.