These things happen, but a lot of the time drainage blockages are preventable, especially at home where you can follow a few simple rules to make sure your toilet stays free of blockages and you don’t impact the wider sewerage system either.
It feels like an easy answer to flush sanitary items such as tampons down the toilet, but if you think about their absorbent properties it soon becomes obvious that they are going to band together to block your drainage system further down stream, and eventually you could end up with nasties backing up into your shower or downstairs sinks. Easy solution – put a bin in your bathroom so that you can discreetly dispose of anything other than toilet paper.
It’s been known for a while that baby wipes and wet wipes don’t break down in the same way that toilet tissue does. Just try tearing a wet wipe in half and you will see what we mean. The result is that wipes can get caught or snagged on intruding roots in your drains or other bits of solid waste in the system and once one or two are caught, the next one you flush will just cling straight on to them! Again a bin in the bathroom or the bedroom gives you somewhere to pop these wipes without risking a toilet blockage.
Nappies get poopy right? That doesn’t mean they should get flushed though. An absorbant nappy is in no way designed to fit round your U bend, or down the soil pipes and drains that take it out to the common sewer. Nappies are a sure fire way to end up with an overflowing toilet and should always be disposed of separately. Even better, modern washable nappies are easy to wash and dry and usually come with velcro fixings, so you can avoid adding to the landfill mountain and keep your toilet clog free!
This is less likely to happen in the home, although children who have had an accident can sometimes be a culprit for flushing soiled undies down the loo to cover up what has happened. However in our commercial drainage experience, it isn’t uncommon for toilets in public places like supermarkets or motorway services to get blocked because somebody has tried to flush a pair of dirty pants down them!
Paper towels are less tough than wet wipes but they still don’t mulch down in the same way as loo paper and so your sewerage system simply isn’t designed to cope with them. They will band together down in your drains and result in a claggy mass that eventually blocks the flow entirely and causes sewage to back up into your shower tray or bath.