Don’t Flush These 5 Items to Prevent Plumbing Issues and Pollution

North Carolina plumbing company Four Seasons Plumbing is debunking myths about many items commonly thought of as safe to be flushed in your residential or commercial toilets.

“Homeowners flush a lot more than just toilet paper every day without a second thought,” said Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing. “Unfortunately, treating the toilet as a handy disposal system for many common bathroom items can lead to serious plumbing repairs and contamination of our water supply. It’s surprising what all can create issues, so we want to offer Asheville homeowners some tips on what never to flush.”

The following items that should never be flushed:

Flushable Wipes: While many manufacturers of flushable wipes claim they can be flushed, Rose advises the community not to. These items do not dissolve in the same fashion as typical toilet paper and can contribute to a sewage or septic tank clog or back up.

Kitty Litter: Many types of cat litter are designed to absorb moisture and clump. Another issue that will arise with flushing cat litter is the spreading of Toxoplasma gondii, one of the world’s most common parasites. To avoid public risk and potential plumbing issues, it is best for consumers to dispose of their cat litter in an appropriate waste receptacle.

Hair/Floss: Hair and floss are both long and stringy. It is extremely easy for these two items to tangle, gather and cause clogs over time. Avoid this potential disaster by placing a waste receptacle next to your toilet to dispose of floss and hair from shaving, combing and brushing. Consider installing a simple hair catcher in the tub as well.

Medication: Drugs may not cause clogs, however, they are an extreme risk to public health. Sewage treatment systems are not designed to filter out medication. When medication is flushed, it can have a significant environmental impact, as this water essentially ends up in rivers, lakes and oceans. To prevent this risk, properly dispose of your medications through your local pharmacy.

Cotton Balls/Pads and Swabs: Much like flushable wipes, these items are not made to dissolve as effectively as toilet paper. It is common for these items to clump and create clogs that will likely require assistance from a professional.

Furthermore, some brands of cotton swabs have plastic posts, and plastic should never be flushed or introduced to the water supply.

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