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What Happens After You Flush?

What happens when you flush your toilet? Fixed Today Plumbing explains how your toilet works, what happens when you flush and everything else you might find interesting about toilets.

You don’t notice how your toilet system works when using it. And seeing as a person uses their toilet on average between 4 and 10 times per day, It is one of the things in your property that you expect to work.


Your toilet system has many components and works to free you and your household from disease and a toxic environment.

If you can smell a foul odour or your toilet seems blocked, it is important to unclog your drain using various DIY methods or contact your local plumber. Without a fully functioning toilet, your human waste and things like toilet paper will have nowhere to go. This is a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause illness. The toilet flushes process works with your big sewer pipes and when treating sewage pipes.

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How does my toilet work?

The main parts of a toilet are,

  • Flush handle or button
  • Cistern (tank)
  • Bowel
  • Lid

The cistern has internal parts, such as,

  • Float ball
  • Float rod
  • Inlet valve
  • Inlet tube
  • Piston
  • Siphon
  • Flush handle or button

Your toilet system uses gravity and pressure. That is the main way that it gets its ’power’. When you press the flush button or handle, the connected piston is pulled up, allowing a small amount of water through the siphon.

There are holes in the rim of the cistern, which release water when you use the flush. The pressure and gravity send the water and waste down the pipes and past an S Trap.

This goes down from the main drain to the sewer drain. The cistern empties and takes the float ball down, activating the float rod. This opens the piston and refills the cistern with water to the correct level.

Where does stuff go after you flush it?

Once you press the flush handle or button, the water and waste will swirl and be pushed down the toilet opening. This travels down your sewer system.

Water from washing and cooking will also be collected and taken down the sewer pipes. These sewage wastes are collectively known as sewage. The bigger sewer pipes take all the sewage to where it is treated.

Waste from other properties is collected and travels through the sewerage pipes. The final destination is the sewage treatment plant. So ensure only apt materials like toilet paper go down your toilet.

What happens to raw sewage?

Water Treatment Plant Photo

After you flush the toilet, your drains’ waste is eventually taken to a wastewater treatment plant. This is important as this process involves cleaning the water and removing bacteria, harmful germs, and toxins. This is done with special chemicals and various techniques. If you notice sewage in your yard, block off the area and contact a professional plumber.

Items such as toys, jewellery, and other objects are also removed that get flushed down a drain. Once the water has been processed at the wastewater treatment plants and fully cleaned and after rigorous testing to ensure it is environmentally safe, it is released into the ocean or local river. Or even turned into recycled water!

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