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31 January 2011

Outside drains - problems & solutions

Outside drains are commonly used to dispose of almost anything that doesn't fit through the holes in the kitchen sink: grease, pulped vegetables and fish oil, to name but a few.

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Outside drains - a germ trap

Drains that do not work properly cause a household to grind to a halt. Keeping drains clean may not be your favourite pastime, but it it a lot more pleasant than having to deal with them once they are blocked.

Outside drains are commonly used to dispose of almost anything that doesn't fit through the holes in the kitchen sink: grease, pulped vegetables and fish oil, to name but a few. If these substances aren't properly drained, serious diseases can spread through contact.

The outside drain is usually also connected to the kitchen's draining system. This means that the drain is mostly wet and warm, which makes it perfect breeding ground for all kinds of germs. These can spread diseases like campylobacteriosis (diarrhoea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever) and leptospirosis (infectious jaundice).

A filthy drain is also a favourite abode for cockroaches, flies and vermin. These pests carry germs that can cause bacterial infections, such as Salmonella and Shigellosis, and viral infections, such as gastroenteritis and hepatitis A.

How to clean outside drains

There are few things that make one feel quite as helpless as a completely bloced drain. Always clean your drain after you've disposed of organic waste, like food. Throw solid substances into the garbage bin and rinse the drain thoroughly with water after use to prevent blockage. Don't just use the first chemical on which you can lay your hands to clean the drain. This could bring an end to your plastic pipe system. Rather use natural disinfectants like a ¼ cup of baking soda, followed by ½ cup of vinegar and 2 litres of boiling water. 

Rinse your drain once a week with a strong antibacterial disinfectant developed for outside use. Be on the lookout for these three signs associated with unhygienic drains: slow drainage, foul odour and pests. If you can't sort out the problem yourself, get professionals to help.

Handy hint:
Rather than disposing of unwanted foodstuffs down the kitchen sink, flush them down the toilet. This will lower the chances of the drains getting clogged. 

Compost heap
Pools of water
Sandpits
Shelves
Rusty equipment
Outside bin
The Ambience

 
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