What NOT to Put Down the Drain!

In honour of Earth Week, today we’re going to hit you with some more “dos and don’ts” when it comes to your drain. 
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You may not know it, but even on a municipal water system, there are some big no-nos when it comes to what you pour down the sink. Some of this stuff is (un)common sense and some of the things on our list may take you by surprise, but the fact remains, if you don’t pay attention to what you’re dumping down there, it may come back to haunt you.

And we’re not just talking about your wallet.

Drain Enemy Number 1 – Fats!

We love bacon as much as the next guy, but pouring grease down the drain is a terrible idea. Municipal sewage systems can and do break down when fat gets into the process leading to millions of dollars in repairs and environmental damage which can all show up on your property tax bill. On a more personal level, a build up of fats in your home’s sewer system can lead to back ups – hello property loss and health hazards. For the sake of your home, family, neighbours and community, never, ever pour meat fats down the drain. These include:
•    Lard
•    Shortening
•    Cooking oil
•    Meat drippings/fats
•    Butter
•    Food scraps
•    Dairy products
•    Sauces

What’s the big deal? Well, fats are sticky – ever tried to lose the last five pounds? Okay, maybe not that kind of sticky. But fats build up in pipes over time both in your house and under the street. Sort of like our arteries. The build up can actually get so bad that pipes are entirely blocked, leading to sewer back ups and other costly repairs.

Where to Put Fats and Food Scraps

Grease and fat are a part of life – particularly if your life includes bacon – but there are ways to deal with it so that it isn’t a problem.
•    Scrape those dishes! If you’ve got food mess on plates and pots, scrape them into the trash, don’t rinse them under the tap.
•    Use traps in drains and sinks to catch food and empty them regularly.

One more word of warning. Undersink garbage disposals are great for reducing kitchen wastes but they’re not equipped to deal with grease. You may also find some products that say they can break grease down but results are spotty at best. Far better to change some basic household habits and avoid the problem all together.

Remember, if you have questions or concerns, get in touch! We’re happy to help you.

For more tips on household waste disposal – including beauty products and common cleaners – click here.  You can also visit the City of Calgary’s Waste Disposal Recommendations.

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George Pinel
George Pinel

These blog posts are brought to you from George Pinel & the Instant Plumbing team.

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