Discover 12 things we shouldn't play down the drain, but we play
Sometimes the ease of daily life makes us "numb" about certain things in life that will most likely bring us problems one day but are unable to realize. A fine example are the kinds of things we usually dump into the drains and toilets of our homes.
Anyone who has never had a clogged plumbing problem at home probably has not lived long enough or was born with a special kind of luck, since just about everyone throws things down the drain that they shouldn't. Below we list a list of these things and the explanation for why we should avoid this practice.
Hopefully, you no longer have to go through the stressful task of buying products, using tools, or calling someone to unclog the drains or toilets in your home or other environment where you spend some of your time. And as a bonus, you can also help slow down a series of pollutants into your area's sewage system, which usually end up in a river or even the sea.
1. Coffee ground
That mound of damp dust left over when we have just brewed coffee may seem to do no harm when thrown down the drain, but it often accumulates inside the pipes when the water stream is not too strong.
Combining this accumulated sludge with the fat from other foods that we also dump through the plumbing, the result is a sticky cake that turns out to be a major reason for clogging in kitchen pipes.
A lot of people who cook at home often gather the unused remains of the ingredients in the sink, accumulating them to throw it all away at one end. When we do this with eggshells, they usually break into very small pieces.
It's easier to turn on the faucet and let these fragments down the pipe than pick each one, but it ends up creating the same situation as the coffee grounds. In fact, anything that is not water soluble can eventually cause the same problem.
3. Fat and oils
Leftover fat after meat and sausage preparation, sauces and different types of oil - olive oil, soybean oil, salad dressings, mayonnaise etc. - do not dissolve on contact with water.
When they find any kind of solid residue in the pipe, they stick to it and clogging occurs. In the United States, for example, drain fat is responsible for about 47 percent of the 36, 000 sewage overflows that occur annually in that country.
And even if they don't, they can stop at a place where sewage is dumped, where they pollute the environment even further and can cause the death of animal and plant species living in the region.
4. Leftover food
When washing dessert plates and bowls after a meal, scraping leftover food into the sink is often far more practical than carrying each dish to the wastebasket to do the same task.
Small chunks of meat or chicken skin, bits of cheese, and other dairy foods — butter, ice cream, or cream, for example — also often clog the tubing.
Some plant foods we eat usually come with adhesives attached to them, usually to indicate their origins. It is common to see them in banana bunches, persimmons, melons and apples, just to name a few.
By the time we wash these things before we consume them or put them in the fridge, a lot of people have the habit of tearing off these stickers and letting them go down the drain. When they do not end up obstructing the passage inside the pipes, they can end up blocking the digestive system of a bird or fish where they are dewatered.
6. Litter for cats
Although there are already certain types of cat litter that are soluble and can be poured directly into the toilet, this does not eliminate parasites that may be present in the animal's feces, such as causing toxoplasmosis.
If these parasites are eventually transported to a river or lake, they can contaminate the species that live there, and this can be deadly to some of them. Also, sand does not dissolve immediately, which can cause problems in some types of drainage systems.
Well, it goes without saying that latex used in condom manufacturing is not soluble when in contact with water, right? Because if it were, its effectiveness would be tremendously undermined.
Nor do we need to explain that when they do not cause clogging in condoms, condoms can end up in the throat of a fish or bird, causing the animal to die from choking.
8. Paper towels and cotton swabs
Even though they are biodegradable products, both paper towels and cotton have a high water-absorbing power, which means they will swell and cause clogging in the pipe long before they start to disintegrate.
So the best thing is to throw these things straight into the trash can.
9. Wet wipes
In certain places, it is common for people to throw dirty toilet paper into the toilet and flush rather than keep a wastebasket, as is most common here in Brazil.
Following this logic, baby wipes used to clean makeup or baby hygiene end up in the toilet too, but they do not disintegrate in contact with water, or they would not be moistened, right?
An article in The New York Times states that New York City has already spent more than $ 18 million on equipment repairs because of problems caused by wet wipes.
Certain types of paint, such as latex or oil, can also clog pipes. In the United States, for example, in some places it is even forbidden to wash brushes and other paint-covered objects directly in the sink.
Oil paint remains often sent to contaminated waste treatment plants, just to give you an idea of how seriously they take it.
11. Automotive Fluids
Motor oil, transmission fluids, antifreeze, and other types of automotive liquids are extremely polluting, and even small amounts can contaminate large portions of water.
Several water quality studies have revealed that substances such as ibuprofen, antidepressants and even birth control hormones have been found in waters near sewage outlets.
The source of most of these substances is human urine, but part of it also comes from the medicines people often throw in the toilet when they are expired or for any other reason.
A much less polluting way to dispose of these medicines is to mix them with some other unpalatable waste, such as the coffee grounds, and discard them in the same non-recyclable garbage.
Have you had problems with clogged piping? What was the cause of the clogging? Comment on the Mega Curious Forum