It’s amazing what people will throw down their toilet. Ask any plumber for some great stories. Many people don’t seem to really care about where everything goes – if it goes. We all know that there is a mess of pipes below the seat, and then it’s a bit of a blur as to where all the pipes take the stuff. Probably a treatment plant somewhere, right? But once you press the button on the toilet or pull the plug in the sink, for us the problem is gone.
Just washing the car or spraying the garden for bugs can impact our environment as harmful chemicals get washed down into stormwater drains.
The summer season is the time when we like to be outdoors doing a few odd jobs, and it’s when a person should be paying attention to what you is really going down your drains.
The following list is not comprehensive, but there are a few items here that you should avoid allowing into your sinks, toilets and drains.
Using garden fertiliser is okay as it will be integrated into the soil and assisting plant growth. The fertiliser we are talking about is the old stuff you might have in your shed and you want to toss it. Don’t dump it into the drain system and ultimately into the waterways.
Take the stuff to your local tip and ask some advice, or check with your local council. Environmentally conscious solutions are available if you seek them.
Oils and greases
Both oils and grease can damage pipes. Pouring oil down your sink can solidify and clog your pipes. Running boiling hot water can help, or using a drain cleaner may do the trick, but a bad blockage will need the expertise of a plumber.
If your car is leaking oil, easy enough to see with the telltale signs under the car, then there’s a good chance that the oil will run off the driveway and into the drainage system. getting the leak fixed is the obvious answer but in the meantime place an old tray or piece of carpet under the car to help catch the oil until you get the repairs done.
If while walking your dog it does its little job next to the sidewalk, there’s a chance that this will eventually get into the gutters and ultimately into our waterways.
There’s some rather nasty bacteria in pooch poo that can affect the health of marine life and humans.
Paint and Thinners
Is there a shed in Australia that doesn’t have a few old paint tins that have been sitting on the shelf for yonks? The lid is rusty and when we lever it off bits of rust fall into the leftover paint. The paint is now no good. Do not pour paint down the drain. It is very harmful to aquatic life. Again, your local council or suburban waste disposal depot have the correct facilities to store and dispose of old paint. It’s just a quick call to ask.
Water from your Swimming Pool
To keep your pool crystal clear you add chemicals, right? So, washing pool water down your stormwater drains simply adds those chemicals to our water system. Elements like salt, chlorine, water testing chemicals, body oils and sunscreen as well as harmful bacteria can be in your swimming pool water.
The preferred option is to put pool overflow or backwash into the garden. Just make sure the plants you have there don’t suffer either.
The above is just 5 items that should never be washed down drains or sinks. Think about the environment whenever you are faced with a disposal decision.