Every day people are flushing objects such as cotton buds, sanitary products, condoms and razors down the toilet instead of putting them in the bin. Known in the business as sewage related debris or SRD, this can have a huge impact on the water environment. The only things that should be flushed are stuff that has passed through you and the toilet paper you use to wipe your backside.
Flushing other items can cause many problems, both in the sewage works and later in the marine environment.
Larger items such as sanitary towels and tampons block screens and clog pumps and pipes in sewage treatment works. This results in reduction of flow, causing water to back up and overflow either untreated through a CSO or into streets and gardens if all other routes get blocked. Water companies can spend a large amount time and money unblocking their systems that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.
SRD that escapes from the sewage system causes aesthetic problems, littering our near shore waters and beaches. Such incidents could have detrimental effects on tourism. Some items such as sanitary towels will slowly decompose but other items (being made of plastic) will remain in the marine environment indefinitely. These can then become hazardous to wildlife and ruin a surf session!
Think Before You Flush!!!! Any item that has not passed through you should not be flushed down the toilet, other than toilet paper. It’s as simple as that really. While some other products may claim to be flushable, they still can cause blockages so don’t risk it!
Check out some of the more environmentally friendly sanitary products instead – biodegradable cotton buds or washable sanitary towels!