Don’t pour auto antifreeze down your drains

Published on February 19, 2021

graphic that tells people not to pour anti freeze in their toilets

Don’t ever put automobile antifreeze down your drains or in your toilet.

Social media posts have recommended this practice, but the Environmental Quality Division of Fort Worth’s Code Compliance Departments strongly warns against it.

While it’s true that there may be some correct applications to use a nontoxic plumber’s antifreeze before pipes freeze at your home or business, it’s very important to note manufacturer’s recommendations for use and to get this type of solution.

Do not pour automobile antifreeze into drains and toilets. This could be extremely dangerous for you and your pets, and it’s illegal to dump it down your drains.

Automotive antifreeze kills the beneficial biological treatment at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Automotive antifreeze uses ethylene glycol, which is not OK for home sewage systems. Sewer lines do not run full and do not freeze; sewer lines are warmer and do not expand like water pipes.

Afraid water in your pipes will freeze and break them? Here’s what you can do:

  • Let indoor faucets drip.
  • Keep indoor cabinets open.
  • Insulate pipes exposed to freezing temperature.
  • Cover and insulate outside faucets.

Did water in pipes freeze and break them already? Here are some tips:

  • Turn off the main water supply to your home or business.
  • Where possible, inspect pipes for cracks or breaks.
  • Contact a professional plumber for assistance.
  • Check with your homeowner’s insurance policy adviser to address any damages or repair needs.

Antifreeze and other automotive fluids can be safely discarded at Fort Worth’s Environmental Collection Center. 


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