To Flush or Not to Flush

That is the question…

 

Disposable vs. Flushable

 Clean water is critical to sustaining life and health, yet people often take for granted the flow of water into and out of their homes and businesses. Where does it go after we flush the toilet, empty the sink, take a shower or do laundry?

Wastewater drains into a community’s sanitary sewer system, an underground network of pipes that leads to the wastewater treatment plant. At the wastewater treatment plant, the used water is “cleaned” by several treatment processes and returned back to the environment to be used over and over again.

Sewers are designed to take away used water from sinks, baths, showers, laundries and toilets. Flushing away “unflushable” items such as garbage, paper towels and disposable wipes causes blockages in sewers, which leads to backups and adds to the cost of operating and maintaining your sewers and the treatment plant. “Disposable” does not mean flushable. Disposable is a product for single use that can be recycled or thrown away after it is used. Most baby wipes and adult wipes are not flushable because they stay intact in water and don’t disintegrate like toilet paper.  They should be thrown away in a trashcan. Other items such as rags, towels, diapers, kitty litter, cigarette butts and unused medicines should be disposed of properly – in the trash!

 

Beware of “The Unflushables”

Sewers are designed to take away used dirty water from sinks, baths, showers, laundries, and toilets.  Flushing away unflushables adds to the cost of operating and maintaining your sewers and the treatment plant.  Putting trash down the toilet does cause blockages in sewers and possible damage to the environment. “Disposable” doesn’t mean flushable! Disposable means you should bag it and trash it… don’t flush it!  Most baby wipes and adult wipes are not flushable.  This information is usually written in tiny letters somewhere on the package.  The few that are flushable indicate it plainly on front of the package.  If you can’t find the phrase “flushable” or “safe to flush”, then it is not flushable.  These unflushables wipes do not fall apart in water like toilet paper.  The wipes get tangled in the sewage with other wipes and debris, resulting in sewer clogs and expensive problems for the plant and our residents.

 

Do Not Flush Items:

Baby wipes Adult wipes Paper towels
Disposable and cloth diapers Feminine products Q-tips
Bandages Dental floss Socks
Underwear Sanitary towels Incontinence pads

Razors and blades – put these into a rigid container before placing in the trash bin.

Medicines – any unwanted or unused medicines should be taken to your local police department for proper disposal.

 
 


More Sanitary Sewer Information