Friday, April 30th, 2021 by Amanda Waldmann
To a toddler, a toilet is a magical portal where things just...disappear. As an adult, you hopefully know the difference. But just in case, let’s talk about what you should never flush down your toilet.
Whether your fish has died or your child wants to set it free, flushing a goldfish is pretty common practice. After all, it’s standard to give it a funeral and flush it to the great beyond. But please don’t do that.
If it isn’t dead, flushing will do the job pretty quickly, and it’s an inhumane way to go. But even if it is dead, you’re now adding the fish and all of its germs and parasites to the water supply. Sure, there are worse things, but don’t add to it! You drink that water eventually. Also, the parasites from the fish can harm the fish living in the water.
Flushing old prescriptions down the toilet seems like an efficient way to dispose of them but, again, it really isn’t. Sure, the pills themselves disappear, but the chemicals in them can end up in the sewer system or even groundwater and damage local wildlife and the drinking water supply.
Most areas have medicine take-back programs where they can safely dispose of your old pills.
It surprised me how often I saw mentions of people flushing food down the toilet. We’ve told you before not to put all of your excess food down the garbage disposal, and that goes for your toilet as well! Pro tip - keep a colander in your sink and dump food waste into it; at the end of the night, dump the solids into the trash after liquid has drained out.
4. Anything that isn’t toilet paper!
Honestly, this could be a 100 point list because you shouldn’t flush anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper. Plenty of products are marketed as flushable but they just aren’t (look up the term “fatberg” if you want to see what happens when you flush non-toilet paper items).
At the end of the day, your toilet is another plumbing fixture, not a wormhole that makes things vanish. Treat it with care and avoid possible damage and overflowing. And if something gets flushed and causes problems? Give us a call.
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