There are simple things that you do can do to prevent a clogged drain.
In a landmark study undertaken by the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2002, it was discovered that wastewater coming from residential, agricultural and industrial sources contained low levels of human and veterinary drugs, natural and synthetic hormones, insecticides, fire retardants, detergent metabolites, and plasticizers.
Of these chemicals listed, one or more were found in 80 percent of the streams which were a part of the study. Furthermore, half of the streams were found to contain seven or more of these chemicals. Roughly a third of the streams contained 10 or more of the aforementioned chemicals.
Quite simply, this means that homeowners, farmers, and industries have contributed greatly to water pollution which does not only undermine water quality, but also adversely affects fish and wildlife.
In the residential setting, plumbers regularly caution homeowners about throwing foreign objects down the drain as these can clog pipes and cause unnecessary damage, not only to the plumbing system but in other parts of the house as well.
But according to the Watership Environment Foundation, the consequences of throwing foreign objects down the drain causes far-ranging effects beyond your home. According to the foundation, throwing foreign objects down the drain can also lead to health problems and environmental problems.
Plumbers say that homeowners should not treat the drain like a trash can and list what not to put down your drain.
- Dairy products
- Baking goods
- Food scraps
- Cooking oil
- Butter and margarine
Throwing these down the drain facilitates the blockage in the sewer pipes when grease sticks to these. And once the grease continues to build up, it can block the optimal flow of water.
Expert plumbers advise against throwing grease down in either sinks or toilets. Homeowners should also make it a habit to scrape off food particles and grease from plates, pots, pans and other cooking utensils and implements. Invest in a strainer or basket and install one in the sink drain to catch solids and empty these into the trash can.
Other items that should not be thrown down the drain or toilet include:
- Used oils
- Egg shells
- Coffee grinds
- Feminine hygiene products
- Paper towels
- Flammable substances
- Acidic or caustic substances
- Solvents, paints, polish remover, turpentine and similar products.