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FYI – Toilets Are Not Trashcans

Should it be flushed or not? Many citizens in our community may find themselves questioning whether or not they are able to flush certain substances/items. If you find that you are asking yourself, “can I flush this?” allow BGJWSC to help you.

Remember the 3 P’s: Pee, Poop and Paper. Only two things should ever be flushed down the toilet through our sewer system, human excrement and toilet paper. Both are easily broken down within the sewer system allowing it to work as designed. It is safe to say anything that is not one of the two should be disposed of by other means.

Here is why:

  • Kleenex, paper towels, wet wipes ­– These items may have “flushable” on the label, but believe us when we say that they are not. They are designed to absorb and hold moisture not break down in it.
  • Band-Aids/dental floss – Though small, these items are not biodegradable and can wrap themselves around objects already in the plumbing causing small clogs that could lead to bigger ones.
  • Diapers – Made mostly out of absorbent plastic, diapers will quickly become stuck in your toilet’s piping causing almost immediate sewer back up.
  • Hygiene Products – Q-tips, cotton balls and feminine products do not break down in water which can cause a blockage over time.
  • Fats, Oils, Grease – Any kind of cooking substance or food should be disposed of by other means. They may be a liquid while they are warm, but once they cool off they solidify causing pipelines to gum up.
  • Corrosive/Poisonous – Cleaning materials should be disposed of carefully. Flushing these down the toilet may cause harm to the sewer infrastructure or the processes at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Medication – Liquid or pill form medication should never be flushed. Medication is very harmful to the processes at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Solids – Of course, no type of solid item, such as plastics, should ever be flushed down the toilet.

Flushing any type of these items can cause a blockage in the sewer system that may result in the community or your own sewer becoming blocked. Blockages to your home plumbing could cost thousands of dollars. Do yourself a favor and simply dispose of these items in the proper ways.

Remember Toilets are not Trashcans!

For more information, , the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) is working collaboratively with other associations and groups to find common ground and safe solutions for both utilities and the environment.  The Association is advocating for elimination of harmful products and ingredients when possible and education of the public about proper disposal practices.  In addition, the Association is working with its members and other partners to create and support programs that continue to bring this vital issue to the forefront.

This For Your Information post is available as a printable PDF here: Toilets_Are_Not_Trashcans