A lot of items today are marketed as flushable or considered safe to flush, like cat litter, disposable nappies, feminine napkins, baby wipes, and so on. However, the real question here is: Should you really flush these items down the toilet?
Never flush them down the toilet
The answer, of course, is a resounding NO. Even though they can actually be flushed, they often end up stuck in another drain and cause blockages. These things can accumulate in drainpipes and sewers over the years and produce a giant “fatberg”, a word which is kind of self-explanatory and too gross to elaborate on. They can even damage pump systems and your local waste water treatment plants because they are certainly not be equipped to handle these.
Reasons these things cause bad blockages
Lines that are flat or back graded cannot flow matter completely towards the city sewer but lines that are graded too much can increase the flow to the extent that both water and solids separate from one another. This could mean that solids are left behind and cause clogging.
Common defects amongst lines are age deterioration, slumping or bellying in the line, line breakage, and root intrusion. These problems can cause matter to get hung up and eventually build a blockage within the lines. These can go from bad to worse when you flush down the wrong items.
A water-efficient toilet, which uses less water to dispose of waste, can also lead to a poor quality flush for a lot of items marketed as flushable. Toilets with lesser flush and poor evacuation may need several flushes to drive the items down.
Use and abuse can often contribute to age deterioration and at the rate it happens. The drains in your home or building can often become the victims of abuse whenever you flush down foreign objects, regardless if they’re flushable or not. At best, the items that are considered flushable can be minor inconveniences for these drains.
Combine this with other factors like poor water flow and clogging and you’ll have a waste smorgasbord inside your drains. Know what not to flush, and you can avoid having to deal with a major clogging problem.