No Blocks When Driving the Porcelain Bus
In the wee hours of New Year’s Day, I sat on the tiles of the bathroom floor hugging the toilet as if it were my best friend and let the cold porcelain soothe my pounding head.
I thought about the tidal wave of coloured liquid I had deposited, the result of the evening’s entertainment, and watched horrified as it rose up to meet me when I flushed.
There is nothing worse than getting a block when ‘driving the porcelain bus’ and I wondered what else my porcelain friend had swallowed causing my plumbing problems.
Toilets, sinks and pipes leading from your home to the town’s sewerage system only have a 100mm wide drain which is designed to deal with human waste matter, toilet paper and grey water; everything else that we put down can cause blockages in the pipes that cost time and money to fix and becomes environmental pollution.
• Grease, oil and fats – cool, congeal and build up on the sides of the pipes like a clogged artery, eventually giving the sewer system a heart attack
• Hair and dental floss – hair and plaque-laden strings clump with the other nasties in the sewer pipes and can create blockages
• Cotton buds, tampons, pads, incontinence wear and nappies – these items are designed to absorb moisture and expand. The expansion makes it difficult for them to pass through sewer pipes and they gather together in the bends causing massive blockages
• Wet wipes – do not degrade as described on the packet, even though they are labelled ‘flushable’. Wet wipes contain synthetic materials such as moisturisers or oils, which do not disintegrate after flushing. They stick to fat, potentially causing sewer system obstructions and, in turn, blockages and pipe damage.
Congealed fats and oils clump to wet wipes and other rubbish that must be removed from the sewers and taken to landfill – where it should have been in the first place.