Us vs The Fatbergs
Us vs The Fatbergs
It’s easy to believe that when you flush something down the toilet and it disappears from sight that it has gone. But where does it actually go? Depending on what you are flushing it may not actually be going that far and instead lurks under the surface, as a fatberg waiting to happen. So what can you do?
The Bog Standard Procedure
It can be tempting to get rid of all bathroom waste like wipes and sanitary products by flushing them down the toilet. However, this can lead to your drains being blocked and sending what has gone down, back up.
The only things that should be going down the toilet are the three Ps:
As household pipes are only 10 cm wide they are not designed for anything more than the three Ps. This means that these items should never be flushed:
- Sanitary products
- Kitchen roll
- Dental floss
- Incontinence products
For other waste like this you can place them in the bin. By having a bathroom bin you can keep your bathroom tidy and your drains clear.
Wet Wipes: Our Friend or Worst Enemy?
Wet wipes are easy and convenient for quick cleaning and disposal, but when we flush them they haven’t really gone away. Water UK estimated that 93% of wet wipes are the cause of fatbergs.
All wipes, regardless of whether they are labelled flushable or not, are made of plastic which is estimated to take 100 years to breakdown. In fact, it is a myth that any flushable wipes exist no matter what the packaging may tell you. It’s recommended that you throw your wipes away in the bin and not down the drain.
Fats and Oils: The Secret Solid
Three quarters of fat and oils found in fatbergs has come from our homes. Although it may be a liquid when you wash it down the drain, fat and oils can turn solid in the pipes and become like concrete.
It is a myth that this problem can be solved simply by pouring hot water and washing up liquid down the drain after them. So what else can you do?
- Clear all food, fat and oils into the bin before placing plates in the sink or dishwasher.
- Plastic pots like margarine tubs and jam jars are great for holding cooled left over cooking fat and oil! This makes it a lot easier for you to place slightly bigger quantities of oil in the bin.