Keep the Sewers Clear – Things that Should Never be Flushed Down the Toilet

We are fortunate in this day and age to have access to clean water – in the UK one of the main causes of disease outbreaks like cholera was down to the unsanitary water supplies, particularly in cities like London. During the Industrial Revolution, many more people went to London to find work, and this caused a lot of illness within the city. This meant that something had to be done to address it, and the London sewerage system was built – and in fact, most of the original sewerage system that was built then remains in working order today.

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Nowadays we tend to take this for granted – the only people who really see inside the drains and sewers are the people that do the work needed to keep them in good working order, like these Drain lining surveys through Wilkinson Environmental. But there are things that we should all be doing to make sure our sewers continue to work well and to keep our water supply clean. Problems are often caused when people flush things down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed into the drains. Here are some things that you should never be flushing down the loo…

Wet Wipes – These are one of the biggest problems affecting drains as so many people think that they are fine to flush down the toilet. However, although they may look a lot like toilet paper, they do not break apart when they go into the sewers, and they are responsible for a lot of sewer problems from home pipe blockages to bigger blockages further along the sewer system.

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Dental Floss – As thin and unproblematic as this may look, it is a nightmare for a sewer. It can easily form into a tangled web of string, meaning that anything trying to get past it will be stopped and eventually you will probably need to get someone in to get rid of the blockage from the drain.

Hair – Although it might seem a good idea to empty your hairbrush, or the bathroom plughole of hair and flush it away down the toilet, it really isn’t. Think what those balls of hair do in the bath and shower plugholes – they do the same in the toilet pipes.

Nappies – Because these are so absorbent, they can cause a lot of damage to the pipes in your drains. Nappies are  not likely to get far into the sewage system before causing a problem, as once they absorb water they will swell, and block the pipe.

Medication – This is not something that will cause a blockage, but it is something that should never be flushed down the toilet as it could pollute the water supply. It could have long reaching effects, as the water treatment plants cannot deal with many of the prescribed medications, it can make its way to natural watercourses such as rivers, and harm the creatures that live there. It is always best to contact your pharmacy when it comes to safely disposing of medication.

Author: Richard Brown

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