Not many of us think twice about the ramifications of flushing something down the toilet. Within a second it’s gone as though it was never there and we get on with our day. Out of sight, out of mind.
But just what does happen after we flush? Where does it all go? I’m glad you asked.
After you press the flush button, our waste is propelled down a sewer pipe. This pipe also collects and discards water waste from other household drains in sinks, baths and showers. The waste from your house then flows downhill and joins waste from thousands of other local homes in a gigantic sewer pipe.
Eventually the waste arrives at a sewage treatment plant. Here, harmful toxins and bacteria are removed over many days using powerful chemicals. Once treated, the sewage is released into nearby rivers or the ocean. Some clean sewage can even be used as recycled drinking water.
The sewage treatment process is extremely important for the environment. Unclean sewage contains a plethora of germs and can be catastrophic for water-dwelling plants and animals, not to mention humans.
What not to flush
Often, the treatment process becomes more difficult because of the things that make their way down the toilet. Items like baby wipes, cotton buds, food scraps, sanitary products, dental floss, nappies and condoms are hard to break down and can cause water pollution. As well as harming the environment, these items can easily block drains and result in a hefty service fee. In Sydney alone, 75 per cent of all sewer blockages are caused by wet wipes, costing over $8 million a year. Yikes.
Water utilities encourage flushing only the ‘three Ps’: pee, poo and paper. Everything else should be put in the bin.
And remember, wipes are never flushable – even if the package says they are.
What happens if my pipes become blocked?
Mistakes do happen. Especially in households with young children, the likelihood of something untoward being flushed down the loo is high. Sometimes all it takes is a few cotton buds to cause a blockage.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. At Curran Plumbing, we offer same-day solutions for all of your drain and sewer needs. We use high-quality fibre-optic cameras and hydro jetting technology to push blockages out of the way and allow drains and sewers to flow like new.
We service areas from the Shoalhaven and the Illawarra through to the Sutherland Shire. Contact us today to fix your plumbing problems!