Thursday 19 January 2012

Doing the Dirty - Look after your Drains and a Giveaway for Bird lovers

Many people put the wrong things down their sinks and toilets. This can result in blocked drains, which can cause problems for your household. In some places raw sewage is still dumped into rivers and oceans, causing unsightly pollution and problems for wildlife and if you're putting the wrong things in your drains then they can affect wildlife.

Yorkshire Water cleared 18 000 blocked drains last year (the population of Yorkshire is around 5.1 million). Around 37% of these blockages were probably preventable. The company is currently running a campaign to raise awareness of the issues. Although the campaign is aimed at their customers in Yorkshire, it offers very useful advice for everyone!

Their basic advice is:

* Don’t pour fat, oil or grease down the kitchen sink – small amounts of fat put down a sink can solidify in pipes like lard. Over time this fat builds up preventing waste water from escaping down the pipes to the sewers. This means it finds its way back up the pipes and could end up coming out of toilets and sinks.

* Waste oils and fat can be made into fat cakes to feed birds in your garden. You can find out more here and if you are a Yorkshire Water customer you can order free fat cake making kits (and see below for a chance to get your hands on some free fat cake making kits even if you don't live in Yorkshire)!

* Don’t flush wipes, sanitary products, cotton buds, nappies, hair. Toilets are only designed to remove toilet roll and human waste. Anything else can cause your toilet to become blocked. If waste cannot escape to the sewers, it could come back up through the toilet resulting in a nasty flooded bathroom.

* Put sanitary products etc in a bin.

You can read more about the Dos and Don'ts here and if you are a new parent, there is an interesting infographic about babies and nappy waste here.

Yorkshire Water have kindly offered me some fat cake making kits to give away to readers of this blog. All you need to do is leave a comment within the next week on this post here or on Facebook or Twitter (or retweet the post on Twitter)! Ten people will receive two fat cake making kits each. These can be sent anywhere in the world, but preference may be given to people in the UK, who are not Yorkshire Water customers.


Jane said...

Oh gosh, I like to consider myself relatively 'green' but I never realised the damage pouring liquid fats down drains could cause - I am totally gonna start saving all those fats up to make food for the birds now. Thanks for the post - very informative!

madhat said...

I try to use liquid fats for bird food ... but I am a bit wary because it often contains salt. Isn't that harmful for birds?

We are pretty good with what we flush down the loo. Mostly we have an electric macerator fitted and if that got blocked it would NOT BE FUN! (And being the one with the dainty hands in this house, I'm the one who ends up having to stick her hand in it!!)

Crafty Green Poet said...

madhat - good point - salt is bad for birds...

Lisa Alto said...

Wow, I never thought of making my own fat balls before! I'm always in wilkinsons buying them! Great post Juliet. X

Magyar said...

__I've been fashioning saltless suet blocks for a while, a mix of fats and seed. Not as 'pretty' as the 'retail' version -but- the birds... will never care about how
good they looks.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

We are very careful with what we put down our drains as we are on a private septic system that goes into a tank in our yard. Luckily, I don't cook with much fat or oil. But, if I do I will now make some treats for the birds. Thanks Juliet!

bunnits said...

Thanks for the information. I am usually pretty careful about what goes down the drain, but not sure that some of the other members of the family are as careful. Having once had a small sewage backup, I have no desire to go through it again. I will make sure they pay attention to what goes down the drain.

RG said...

a nasty flooded bathroom.

Oh yes - been there, done that ... when company was here.

Actually, and while this is not a real pleasant task, about once a year I open the main cover from our septic tank (which is the very simple - no pumps or gizmos or electronics - "gravity" type) and use a rake to pull all the floating solid paper, etc. well away from the inlet - which is where it sometimes collects and then clogs the pipe coming from the house. I stir it around a bit.

Just keep your head out of there and be sure there is plenty of fresh air. Sewer gas can suffocate you very very quickly.

Deb G said...

Umm...I would add don't felt wool in your sink. :) Learned that the hard way.

Christina said...

These are good tips. I dont put anything down my drain. Its so not a good idea.