General Services wants to school you on flushing

Wipes, diapers, feminine products, cotton swabs and other common products may be labeled as “flushable,” but can actually cause serious problems if flushed down the toilet. Problems could include plumbing or septic blockages for the property owner, overflows and increased efforts by sewer crews and wastewater treatment plants if the property is connected to the city sewer system.

“Flushable” products are not necessarily safe for your septic or sewer connection, despite their misleading label. The only things you should ever flush are human waste and toilet paper.

But don’t forget – the toilet is not the only fixture that rids of wastewater! Sink drains can also be mistaken as a convenient way to dispose of miscellaneous items, like food scraps. Food scraps have byproducts, such as fats, oils, and grease. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) don’t seem harmful, but they harden and thicken as they cool, which will stick to the pipes when traveling down the drain. Over time, this practice can cause severe blockages.

Blockages could lead to sewage back-ups into a home, a business, or even out of a manhole cover into the street. An event like this can potentially be a public health risk, especially if any sewage got back into any surface waters via storm drains. Blockages cause costly maintenance and repairs for the property owner and even the city.

Concord General Services is requesting for all Concord residents, especially those connected to the city of Concord’s sanitary sewer system, to please not pour FOG down the drain or flush anything other than human waste or toilet paper down the toilet. Fats, oils, and greases should be wiped from any cookware and thrown away in the garbage.

Concord property owners that are connected to the city’s sewer system use water that ends up traveling to one of the city’s wastewater treatment plants; anything that goes down with that water also ends up there as well.

“We want to keep everything flowing smoothly by keeping the sewers unclogged and the drains clear,” said the city of Concord’s Wastewater Treatment Lab Manager Tom Neforas. “Preventing blockages is a better alternative than repairing them, so we hope Concord property owners become more aware of what they are putting down their drains. Safe practices help save the property owner and the city of Concord money on maintenance and repairs.”

Visit concordnh.gov/FOG and concordnh.gov/flushable for more information about what is flushable and how to prevent fats, oils and grease from entering into the city’s sanitary sewer system.

Author: Keith Testa

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