Vides fakti

Vides fakti. Augu valoda

Vides fakti

Vides fakti. Koku ciršana

Vides fakti. "Spoku" tīkli un kanalizācija

Toilet is not trash, Riga Water reminds

One might presume that most people master the art of potty by the age of three or four, but municipal water and sewage manager Riga Water has observed the contrary. More and more people use the porcelain throne as a garbage can, Latvian Television's "Vides fakti" reported March 4.

"This epidemic has been an issue for a long time but as new pump stations are built, it is exacerbated. [Sewage] becomes the responsibility of Riga Water and people are not as mindful as they are when the disposal is in their hands," Riga Water representative Kaspars Birkhāns said. 

A lot of things flushed down the drain, such as sanitary products, become microplastics and end up in the environment.

"Under no circumstances should you toss feminine hygiene products, diapers, fabric, underpants, stockings, plastic bags, cigarette butts! No condoms, they really are safe, our pumps can't even destroy them. Toilet paper cores shouldn't be flushed either," Birkhāns said.

Food residues should not end up down the pipes either as, for instance, grease solidifies and can create a blockage.

"Rīga Housing Manager" representative Krists Leiškalns added: "Within a few months a given house's sewage system will contain potato peels in a plastic bag, and a rag."

He said some people had even managed to flush scissors and dumbbells though it is not known how or why.

It is often the case that residues of medicinal products come into wastewater and flow to water treatment plants. When we take medicines, we remove them from the body in part, but then their concentration in the wastewater would be much lower than when the medicines are thrown into the toilet.

“Our purification plants are not intended for the treatment of medicinal products,” said Ieva Putna-Nīmane, a researcher at the Latvian Institute of Hydroecology. A study in Latvian and Lithuanian plants showed that the treatment efficiency for different medicines could be as low as 35%, for instance, for metformin used by diabetes patients.

When medicines get into the sewer, chemicals affect the environment and directly affect ourselves. Therefore, the invalid medicinal product should be transferred to pharmacies. The pharmacies in which medicines are accepted can be found on the pharmacy websites.

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