pouring bleach down the drain
Hubby was about to pour bleach down the sink drain because they always did it in the restaurants he worked at. I thought you weren't supposed to do that. Is it just because the water (and thus bleach) ends up in a river or lake somewhere or is there another reason? Or am I misled, and bleaching the drain is somehow useful and OK?
06-14-2004 05:13 PM
I don't know but I don't think it can be THAT bad, b/c if you use bleach in your washing machine, it still gets washed out into the drain, if you do have to pour it down I suggest mixing it with water.
In general, using less toxic alternatives to bleach (like Borax) is preferable. It lessens the chance that it will be used or dumped incorrectly.
Just as when we use bleach in a washing machine, all of the water goes through pipes to a treatment facility. It must first undergo wastewater treatment to clean it to comply with certain standards, and only then can it be re-released into the environment. Depending on the state where you live, the treatment process may or may not remove the chlorine/bleach from the water before discharging it.
Allowing bleach, or motor oil, or pesticides, etc. to go into *storm drains* is another matter. Those drains usually drain fairly directly into water courses or the ocean without treatment.
So, in general, we should use the less toxic stuff when we can, and limit the use of toxic cleaning products (e.g. a capful of bleach when you need it, not large glugs down the drain). We can't assume that all of the damaging chemicals are being cleaned at the wastewater plant before being sent back into the environment. Even if they do clean the water really well, that means it is costing money and using energy and those costs are passed on to everyone on the system.
If you aren't in a city, but are on a septic system, that's a whole different story.
I don't know if that helps any. The U.S. EPA has some information on their website as well.
Large amounts of household bleach down the drain into a leach bed or a septic tank will harm the biosystem. Small amounts are fine.
If you have city sewer, the bleach won't do any harm unless you are pouring gallons of it, and even then it will be localized. It won't harm the pipes, it won't explode, corrode, implode, melt or demolecularize any plumbing. It also won't do all that much to clean the pipes. It may make the noxious odors from the trap a little more tolerable for a short while.
You do have to be careful if you are using a lot of bleach when there may have been ammonia poured into the same system with similar abandon at the same time. So if you pour a gallon of bleach and the neighbor pours a gallon of ammonia, it's possible the off-gassing of chlorine will be harmful. With proper plumbing, those gases will be contained and will dissipate eventually.
Chlorine is very volatile. It is a gas in natural state, and if you leave a bottle of chlorine bleach open for days, it will lose all of the chlorine smell and effectiveness.
Why does he want to pour bleach down the drain? A lemon ground up in the disposal does a better job of neutralizing odors, and baking soda down other traps does the same.
I was going to ask that too. What's the purpose of it?
Originally Posted by lizzymahoney
Maybe they do that in resteraunts to sterilize the actual sink so that if you have to wash food off in it, there aren't any contaminants.
That's the only thing I can think of....cuz otherwise it seems like a big waste of bleach to me.
We pour bleach down the drain because it helps with pipe clogging issues. Plus, it gets rid of the nasty sink smell that seems to permanently reside in the kitchen.
Since I've moved to a septic tank house, I haven't done it too often...maybe once a month or so?
My grandma uses way too much bleach and we have a septic system. Not good.
We use bleach to unclog our pipes as well. My husband used to work at a plumbing company and they suggested that instead of using drano or other products.
It really does work.
After a while, I pour hot water down the drain...in my feable attempt to "dillute". We live in a super old duplex with really old pipes...the owner puts a snake down our pipes every 6 months or so, but the bleach really helps us along...especially in our utility sink (where the washing machine drains into).
p.s. we have tried doing the vinegar and baking soda methods a bunch of times...we are a chemical free home, but it just doesn't work the same way as bleach.