Most people don’t think twice before pouring that half full jug of old juice, or the last few drops of cooking oil down the kitchen sink. Is this practice really harmless? Or, are we wreaking havoc on our drain pipes and our environment? Those seemingly harmless cooking oils and last few dregs of food particles may be doing a number on your drain pipes and the environment.
To Pour or Not to Pour
The story doesn’t end once we pour something down the drain. In many ways, it’s just the beginning. That cooking oil we used to fry our chicken dinner flows down our drains forming a slick, sticky surface which sets the stage for future clogs. Once that cooking oil cools a little it becomes solid. Food debris can then stick to the walls of our pipes, narrowing the surface area and eventually becoming completely clogged. That’s just half the story. Oils and greases aren’t necessarily kind to our environment either. Fats and oils are hard on our sewer systems creating overflows and backups that are hazardous to our health. When the grease and oil that we pour down our drain leaves our sink they mix with wastewater within the sewer line in addition to the neighbors’ greases and fats. These combinations in conjunction with the wastewater aid in the process of fats being broken down into glycerol and fatty acids. When sewer levels rise fats stick to the roof of the pipes creating globs of fat that resemble stalactites that are sometimes called fatbergs. These fatbergs can be as big as buses.
Fats and greases are not the only substances that shouldn’t be disposed of by being poured down a drain. A lot of people feel it’s acceptable to pour old, unused medicines down the drain or flush them down the toilet. What do you think happens to that antibiotic for your child’s ear infection. Believe it or not, it ends up in our water supply. Some chemicals that are poured down our drains can’t be handled at the treatment facility and remain unchanged in our water supply. How about a glass of antibiotics anyone?
There are many substances that are not safe for our drains, sewer systems, and our environment. It doesn’t end with medicines, cooking oils and greases. Paints, pesticides, some cleaners, furniture polishes and a whole host of other noxious substances are a no-no for our drains. The best approach to handling a wide variety of substances and disposing of them properly is to find out how to get rid of them properly. Often directions for proper disposal can be found on the containers themselves.
According to Tiger Industrial, a provider of pipeline, mats, rigging and other supplies, although there are many substances that are no good for our drains and pipes, there are measures that can be taken to keep our pipes free and clear. Some build up can be expected over time, but a small amount of maintenance can be effective. A sink strainer is a simple yet useful tool that will keep food particles from lodging in your drain pipes. Boiling water can be used to periodically to keep pipes free of oils and build up. When water is simply not enough, bleach does a good job of breaking down oils and other debris that may be stuck in the pipes.
A minute in your sink can equal big trouble for your pipes and the environment. A little bit of thought before you pour different household substances down your drain not only protects your pipes and your household but also has far reaching effects on the environment and community.
This article was contributed on behalf of Tiger Industrial, your number one choice for your pipeline job. Check out their website at http://www.tigerindustrialrentals.com for more information!