You probably don’t spend much time thinking about drains, but those little holes at the bottom of your plumbing fixtures are the connection between your home and the world’s water resources. Everything you pour down there eventually ends up in lakes, rivers and oceans, so it’s important to exercise caution when dumping anything into a drain. Here are four tips to help you care for both your drain and the environment.
Say No to Harsh Chemicals
It’s easy to dump some drain cleaner down a clogged drain, but these harsh chemicals can erode your pipes, damage wastewater facilities and cause water contamination. If your drain is blocked, first try to manually remove the clog with a pipe snake or use a natural alternative like baking soda. If you are still unable to remove the clog, call a reputable plumbing service like Clearwater Plumbing to take care of it for you.
Be Skeptical of Flushable Claims
Many products that claim to be flushable can do a number on both your plumbing and the environment. Items that don’t disintegrate, such as wipes, condoms, tampons and paper towels, create costly clogs in the sewer system and contribute to water pollution. Flushing cat waste and litter also causes environmental damage even if the litter is biodegradable because the parasites and bacteria in cat feces can infect wildlife.
Don’t Send Goldie Down the River
Flushing dead goldfish or dumping live ones in rivers or streams wreaks havoc on natural ecosystems. The tiny pet fish can grow to five pounds or more in the wild and decimate native fish populations. While flushing a dead fish might seem harmless, they often carry diseases that can spread to wildlife and should be buried or laid to rest in the garbage instead.
Dispose of Medications Properly
You know it’s unsafe to keep expired and unused medications lying around. While flushing may seem like the easiest way to get rid of them, those drugs are just as dangerous for the environment as they are for your kids and pets. Instead of flushing medications or pouring them down the drain, store them in a safe location until you can dispose of them at a drug takeback event.
Next time you go to flush something down the toilet or pour it down the sink, stop and think about how your choice will affect your plumbing and Mother Nature. When in doubt, make the extra effort to dispose of the item safely in the garbage or recycling instead.