The toilet is a part of our daily lives, and thank goodness: the winter gets very cold where I live in Colorado and I’m not too keen on the idea of heading outside to do my business in an outhouse in single-digit temps.
But it’s not only human waste that ends up in the commode. There’s also toilet paper, tampons and the occasional expired goldfish. With a wide mouth and relatively powerful drainage, it’s tempting to use the toilet like our own personal trash transporter: just dump, flush and it’s gone forever.
There are many things that should never EVER be flushed down the toilet. And to send them to their death via the toilet drain is to risk significant plumbing problems as well as environmental pollution.
1. BATHROOM WIPES
These “moist towelettes” or as I like to call them “adult baby wipes” are becoming an increasingly popular bathroom accessory. Despite the fact that they’re marketed to be flushed like toilet paper, these wipes are creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation. “An industry trade group this month revised its guidelines on which wipes can be flushed, and has come out with a universal stick-figure, do-not-flush symbol to put on packaging,” reports SF Gate. (Same thing goes for actual baby wipes and cleaning wipes).
A city in Minnesota is suing six makers of “flushable wipes,” since the wipes cause so many problems in sewer systems. Officials say the wipes don’t degrade after they are flushed and end up costing the city “thousands, if not millions, of dollars of damages.”
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