Our home toilets are not trash cans made to empty personal care and hygiene products. Here’s what you shouldn’t clean in the bathroom.
There are only three things you can flush down the toilet – urine, feces, and toilet paper. In other words, human excrement, or the three elements: urination, feces, and paper.
The sewage journey usually takes one of two directions. You head either by pipes into your community’s local sewer, or into a septic tank near your home.
Before it reaches your local treatment plant, wastewater passes through a screen of metal rods that filter large objects and objects that go into the sewer.
From there, it all goes to a sedimentation tank where solids like sand and gravel that have been picked up all the way down will settle.
These early processing plants are also responsible for removing other “fragile materials”.
Did you know that 50 percent of the so-called non-combustible materials in sewage are paper towels from public restrooms, followed by 25 percent of baby wipes, then a mixture of condoms, cosmetic wipes, tampons and other things?
Finally, after passing through the primary sedimentation tanks, the wastewater continues the cleaning process through aeration tanks, new sedimentation tanks, and in some cases, tertiary treatment facilities where it is disinfected with chlorine and/or UV radiation.
Ultimately, in the most advanced wastewater treatment systems, we may have recycled water that can be used for agriculture or for human consumption.
However, there is no perfect sewage system. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 27 percent of the world’s population (about 1.9 billion people) use private sanitation facilities connected to the sewers from which wastewater is treated.
We all make mistakes, and we can all change our daily habits. Even if it takes time. It’s just a matter of thinking twice before flushing the toilet.
Remember that by adopting new behaviors, you are reducing the amount of toxic and potentially harmful chemicals that interact with water and marine life.
When you flush these 20 items down the toilet, you not only damage the plumbing, but also contaminate the local water supply.
Some are quite obvious, but there are also a few that we thought were appropriate to go into, but which should never go into a sewer system.
Instruct your children to follow good bathroom practices. Avoid flushing the following things down the toilet:
- paper towels
surprised? do not be. Yes, they look like toilet paper, but they should never go down the toilet. Believe it or not, paper towels don’t have the same properties as toilet paper and they don’t easily degrade down the sewer line.
- Cosmetic wipes
Wet wipes are one of the worst problems in modern sewage systems. They are responsible for causing half of the global barriers to fat accumulation, also known as fatbergs. Cosmetic wipes do not dissolve in water and have a very negative effect on the sewage treatment process.
- Baby wipes
It’s soft, gentle and fluffy but doesn’t degrade like toilet paper. And just because wet wipes are harmful to babies, that doesn’t mean they won’t harm the environment. Baby wipes are not biodegradable, so they should not be rinsed off.
Not only are they disgusting because they end up in public waterways, but they are also non-biodegradable. Latex causes serious sewer problems, so keep it private and throw it in the trash.
- tampons pads
Getting rid of feminine products has always been a problem for women. But it’s also a plumbing problem because it can clog pipes quickly. Roll up tampons or sanitary pads and put them in a small sanitary bag, then put them in the trash.
- Dental floss
Dental floss is usually made of Teflon or nylon. When rinsed, it mixes with wet wipes, paper towels, hair, and other things, forming huge balls that clog pumps and sewers.
- Contact lenses
About 125 million people worldwide use contact lenses every day. As a result, billions of daily contacts go down the toilet every year. But what few people know is that getting rid of used lenses down the drain contributes to the creation of trillions of microplastics, which is a major environmental concern in today’s world.
- Cotton buds
It’s small and flexible, clogs drains, and doesn’t degrade quickly. Cotton swabs are responsible for many clogged toilets.
Yes, there are still people who flush diapers down the toilet. And those who do will be clogging the toilet in no time. To make matters worse, modern baby diapers are made of materials that expand upon contact with water.
It is soft, delicate and absorbent. But the tissue won’t degrade like toilet paper. Do you have a cold? Sneeze or cough into a tissue, then throw it in the trash.