Although it’s tempting to dispose of waste and chemicals by either pouring them down the sink or flushing them down outdoor drains, care must be taken to ensure anything washed down the drain isn’t going to pose a risk to the environment, marine life, human health and your plumbing. Here’s a handy list of things you should never flush down the drain.



Fertilisers should end up in your garden and not the waterways, so it’s important to practice correct use and refrain from hosing down your garden until the fertiliser has had a chance to properly seep into the soil, so that it doesn’t get washed down a stormwater drain. When it comes to excess or stored fertiliser, dispose of this at a designated chemical dumping facility, or call your local council for advice.

Paint and paint thinners

Paint and paint thinners are made up of chemical compounds, which, if allowed to enter waterways, can be extremely harmful to marine life. Paints and paint thinners should be disposed of in the same way as fertilisers and never poured down the sink.

Oils and grease

Although it’s hard to completely prevent oil from entering your plumbing system – you do need to wash up dirty pots and frying pans, after all – it’s best not to pour excess oil or grease directly down the sink, as it can solidify and cause blockages. Instead, dispose of large amounts of grease and oil with the rest of your rubbish. If you do need to pour oil down the drain, make sure you wash it down with very hot water to prevent it from sticking.

Expandable foods and flour

Foods like pasta, rice and legumes expand in water, so if they’re poured down the sink, chances are they will continue to expand and cause blockages. Flour is another food item that shouldn’t be disposed of down the drain as it becomes very sticky when mixed with water.

Animal droppings

If you have a pet, usually you’ll either train them to go to the toilet outside, or use a kitty litter. While disposing of animal waste by flushing it down the toilet is fine, it should never be washed down a drain (including stormwater drains), as this type of waste water is not treated in the same way as sewage waste.

By disposing of waste correctly, you’ll not only be protecting the environment, but also helping to keep your plumbing system in tip-top condition. Should you be faced with a blocked drain or pipe from incorrect waste disposal, call JPG Plumbing – your local plumber in Melbourne – on 0400 978 442.