Drains and sewers

3. Avoid blocking drains

  • Don't flush disposable items such as nappies, sanitary towels, condoms, baby wipes, incontinence pads down the toilet. You should get rid of these bits with your normal rubbish collection double bagging them if necessary to avoid odour problems.
  • Don't get rid of food scraps down the kitchen sink.
  • Don't get rid of cooking fat down any sink or drain, instead allow it to solidify and then put it in with your normal rubbish collection. Fat solidifying within drains is a common cause of blockages during the winter months and can build up over years.
  • Don't over use soap powder when using your washing machine.
  • Keep your drain grates free from leaves and moss, and regularly wash down with hot water and disinfectant.
  • Don't put chemicals down your drain other than those specifically for use in kitchens, bathrooms and drains.
  • Keep objects such as bottles and toys away from where they may fall into your toilet.
  • Cesspits should be regularly emptied by a licensed waste carrier.  Don't leave it until the cesspit is full before arranging for it to be emptied as unforeseen delays may result in it overflowing.
  • Septic tanks do not need to be emptied however you must not discharge any detergents/bleaches in to the system as these will kill the bacteria that is required to break down foul waste. Discharging untreated foul waste into the ground, especially if near a watercourse or aquifer, is a serious offence. Septic tanks must therefore be serviced annually to ensure they are in good working condition.