When items other than toilet paper or human waste are flushed down the toilet or washed down a sink they are pushed into the sewer or rain water pipe and we forget about them.
Unfortunately in a lot of cases these items stick in the pipes and form clusters of material which become good places for bacteria to grow and ultimately block the pipes. If an item says it is flushable, such as baby or adult wipes it does not necessarily mean that it is bio-degradable and even products that are bio-degradable can take many years for this to happen.
Because the material tears and hangs down in strips it is known as ragging.
Also, during heavy rainfall, the flow of waste water within the public sewers increases vastly and diluted wastewater is sometimes allowed to flow directly into other waterways and out to sea in order to prevent our homes from being flooded. If the wrong things have been flushed they can also escape, polluting our local stream and out to the sea.
The only things that should be flushed down a toilet are toilet paper and human waste, everything else should be put in a bag in the bin. The wrong things to flush or put down our sinks are:
- Sanitary towels, tampons, panty liners, incontinence pads
- Condoms, bandages, cotton buds, Contact lenses
- Baby, facial and cleaning wipes
- Razor blades
- Medicines, syringes or needles.
Why not consider:
- Placing a bin in your bathroom
- Dispose of personal items within allocated bins in public toilets
- Things like waste food stuffs, coffee grains etc should be put scrapped into the bin.
Take a look at the national water industry campaign – Bag It and Bin it campaign:
Help Keep our Sea Clean