While the Capital Regional District’s wastewater treatment facility is now in open at McLoughlin Point, what you flush down the toilet and drain still matters.
Flushing these “unflushables” can lead to blockages in the sanitary sewer system that can be both costly to remove and cause sewage to overflow into the environment or back up into your home.
Unflushable waste can cause blockages and backups in both sewer and wastewater treatment systems, especially if they mix with fats, oils and grease.
This can lead to increased maintenance costs for regional pump stations and the need to replace damaged equipment and infrastructure. In addition, blockages closer to home can also cause backups in residential systems – and no one wants that!
When in doubt, remember the 3Ps of flushing: only pee, poo and paper go down the toilet, and keep your sink fat-free by keeping oils and grease out of the drain.
Here’s a look at the region’s top 5 drain-clogging problem products – including a few that may surprise you…
Problem Product No. 5: dental floss
Dental floss is surprisingly strong and when flushed down the toilet can cause the region’s wastewater pumps to bind and jam, resulting in increased maintenance and operating costs.
Problem Product No. 4: hair
Although some hair will always make it into the sewer line, human hair is hard on our wastewater machinery and a big source of clogs in the system – imagine what you pull out of your own shower but for the whole region! Brush your hair out before you shower and clean your brushes into the garbage can – not the toilet or sink – to reduce the amount of hair that goes down the drain.
Problem Product No. 3: tampons and applicators
Tampons and applicators do not break down in the sewage treatment system and can cause expensive clogs and sewer back-ups both at home and in the regional sewer line.
Problem Product No. 2: fats, oils and grease
Washing fats, oils and grease down the kitchen sink can lead to expensive clogs and sewer back-ups both at home and in the regional sewer line. Instead, save your fat for future cooking or pour it off into a compostable container and dispose of it with your kitchen scraps.
Problem Product No. 1: ‘flushable’ wipes
The package may say “flushable” but in fact, disposable wipes do not break down in the sewage treatment system and cause more expensive clogs and sewer back-ups than any other product.
And while it should go without saying, those disposable masks are also a no-no for the toilet. Instead, safely dispose of them in the garbage.