What Things Should You Never Pour Down the Drain

What Should You Not Pour Down the Drain?

A common misconception is that anything which takes a ‘liquid form’ can be safely poured down the drain. In reality, there are many items — liquid and solid — that can wreak havoc on your drainage system and septic tank when disposed of in this way. In this article, we’re going to explain which items you must avoid pouring down your drain and how they cause damage to both your drainage and septic system.

What items shouldn’t you pour down the drain?

Just because an item is a liquid or is in small enough pieces to fit down the plughole doesn’t mean it won’t cause problems further down the line. Your drainage system and septic tank are only equipped to accommodate particular types of waste.

The items you shouldn’t pour down your drain are as follows:


Why shouldn’t you pour them down the drain?

Leftover oils and fats from cooking are the most common source of blocked sink drains. Though they may be liquids when hot, oils and fats solidify when they cool. The congealed substance can get stuck in drains and is responsible for thousands of sewer blockages every year.

How do they affect your septic system?

Septic systems are not equipped to break down oils and fats. When they enter a septic system, they will simply sit and accumulate over time. The congealed fat will eventually form a scum layer at the top of the tank that can slow down the decomposition process below and may also find its way through the outlet pipe.

Excessive/chemical household cleaners

Why shouldn’t you pour them down the drain?

Drain cleaner and similar products are okay to use in moderation, but always check the label and follow the instructions before you use. Excessive use of cleaning products can corrode pipes and other components of your drainage system, and kill helpful and essential bacteria that treat your sewage system.

How do they affect your septic system?

Too many chemicals can disrupt the chemical balance in your septic tank. Septic tanks work by using bacteria to break down solids. Intrusive chemicals can kill these bacteria and stunt the breakdown process, leading to a buildup of solid material. The chemicals may also be corrosive and can damage the septic tank itself.


Food scraps

Why shouldn’t you pour them down the drain?

Food, even tiny pieces of food, are not intended to enter a drainage system. Any solid matter can easily cause a blockage in your drain, as small pieces of food can merge together to form a larger mass. Plus they may attract rats and other vermin. Always put food scraps in the bin or use a drain catcher to trap excess pieces of food.

How do they affect your septic system?

When food gets into your septic tank, added nutrients are introduced into the system. The bacteria typically won’t be able to break down the solid food quickly enough, and it will eventually turn into a thick, black sludge. Accumulation of sludge can quickly become a hazard if not removed.

Cammack & Wilcox provide septic tank sludge removal as part of their septic tank emptying service. In addition, we offer a wide range of liquid waste treatment services, including sewage treatment services and a 24/7 emergency call-out service. Our experts are always on hand to offer professional advice on how to care for your septic tank system, and we’ll address any issues the very same day. We also empty cesspools, cesspits, oil interceptors and gully traps. To enquire about any of the extensive services we offer, get in touch with our team today.