Appliances like automatic dishwashers and garbage disposals have made life a lot easier in the kitchen, but these labor-saving devices – especially garbage disposals – can have a big effect on water quality.
We’re not saying that you should stop using your garbage disposal entirely, but please consider the following:
- Grease. While garbage disposals can get rid of many things, grease is not one of them. Every time you pour grease down the disposal, you increase the chance of clogging the drains in your own house and increase the chance of problems in the public sewer system. Scrape greasy pots and pans into the trash rather than into the disposal. Hint: detergents that claim to dissolve grease only pass it down the line, which can make problems elsewhere.
- Sugar. Sugar is unlikely to clog your pipes, but it does cause increased energy use – and increased costs – at the wastewater treatment plant. Dispose of sugars in the trash can, not the disposal.
- Compost. If you garden, then consider composting fruit and vegetable waste (not meat waste or bones!) rather than putting it down the disposal.
Keep these tips in mind while preparing your holiday meals, and you’ll protect not only your own plumbing but also the entire wastewater treatment system.