Pain in the Drain | Why Flushing is Bad

Handful of Pills

Why Flushing is a Bad Idea
When you flush medication down your drain, it ends up at one of our treatment facilities. These ingredients can remain in the treated water when it is released into the water cycle. When prescription or over-the-counter drugs are flushed down the sink or toilet, their chemical components may be added to the water supply. The presence of these substances in the environment is emerging as an important national and international issue. Although the concentration levels of these products in the environment is very low, research and monitoring are continuing worldwide.

Putting medications down the drain is not just a local concern. Increasingly, prescription and non-prescription medications, many of which are not effectively destroyed by sewage treatment plants, are finding their way into streams and drinking water supplies. A study conducted by the United States Geological Survey found that 80 percent of the 139 streams sampled across 30 states detected very low concentrations of chemicals commonly found in prescription drugs. While the concentration levels of these products are very low, they may be enough to cause adverse effects in the environment and to human health. More information can be found at the following links: