Toilets are NOT trash cans. Only flush the 3 Ps down the drain: pee, poo and (toilet) paper. And yes… technically, there’s a fourth P: puke. Here’s a list of 6 things not to flush – these 6 things should be disposed of properly and don’t belong down drains or toilets.
- Feminine products
Never ever flush tampons, pads, applicators or plastic wrappers. These items get caught in your pipes and our treatment systems… leading to messy backups or problems with sewer pipes.
- Flushable wipes
Unfortunately, “flushable” wipes are not actually flushable. They don’t disintegrate and break down like toilet paper. When these wipes build up in pipes, it can lead to clogs or (even worse) back-ups in your home and at the treatment plant.
- Other trash
Dental floss, bandages, kitty litter and pet poo, bandages or even children’s toys don’t belong down drains. Treatment plants do our best to filter and catch what we can, but sometimes broken bits get through despite our best efforts. Since treated water goes back in streams, you’re essentially littering the environment when you put trash down drains.
FOGs – or fats, oils and greases – don’t break down in water. When FOGs go down your pipes, they stick together and can create blockages. If they make it to the treatment plant, they can create large masses and blockages in the system called fatbergs. Super gross.
Most wastewater treatment plants aren’t designed to remove the compounds found in medications. When pharmaceuticals or hormones are dumped down your drains, they end up in local waterways and, ultimately, impact drinking water and aquatic life.
- Household chemicals
Don’t put chemicals and paints down drains, including the floor drain and utility sink in your basement. All these pipes are connected to sewer lines and septic systems and can contaminate the water.
Now that you know what not to flush, learn how to properly dispose of these items that don’t belong down drains in our “Where the non-flushables go” blog article. You can also learn more about pollution prevention by following @MadMetroSewer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Blog article written by Amy Steger