Things You Should Not Flush

We get it, sometimes the toilet is an easy place for disposal. Just drop it in and say goodbye! However, a lot of people do not realize how damaging flushing certain things can be to their plumbing or septic systems and to the environment. If you’re not sure what kinds of things we are talking about, check out this list of items you should never flush!

  • Cotton balls and swabs: Rather than breaking down, they gather together in bends of the pipes and create blockages
  • Wipes: Flushable doesn’t actually mean flushable…wipes actually should not be flushed. They are made with a binder that does not break down when exposed to water. Their inability to degrade can cost you money in the long run.
  • Prescription medication: Maybe you do not need the rest of those pills but neither does the ground. They destroy bacteria and contaminate groundwater. Always dispose of medication properly.
  • Paper Towels: Much like wipes, they are made with a binder that does not break down in water. They can cause many plumbing problems.
  • Cigarette Butts: They are both gross and harmful. The toxic chemicals in cigarette butts can contaminate the water supply.
  • Band-aids: They are made from non-biodegradable plastic which can harm both the environment and your sewage system.
  • Dental Floss or Hair: The former is non-biodegradable. Both are tiny strings that can wrap themselves around items and cause clogs.
  • Fats, oils, and grease: Do not flush this or put it down your sink drain. It may be a liquid when it is hot, but as soon as it hits the pipes, it congeals and turns into a pipe-clogging wax.
  • Cat Litter: It is made from clay and sand – two things that should never be flushed. Also, cat waste contains toxins and parasites that should not be in our water system.
  • Disposable Diapers: The material in diapers causes them to expand when they come in contact with water. If they actually make it down the drain, they can become caught in other areas and create a back-up.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products: Much like diapers, they are designed to absorb moisture and expand. The expansion makes them unsafe to pass through drains and pipes.

These are the most popular items that people flush down the toilet… but they really should not be! You should only be flushing actual human waste and toilet paper! If you have any plumbing problems, be sure to call Norfolk Plumbing for 24-hour emergency service.

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