What Not To Flush: Protecting Our Sewer System

When you use your toilet, shower, washing machine or dishwasher, waste water leaves your home through pipes that connect to the city sewer system.
Many materials frequently flushed or poured down the drain can harm the pipes that connect to city sewers as well as the city sewer system. Every property owner connected to the city sewer system can be a potential contributor to sewer problems, and a potential victim of those problems.
Putting the wrong things down the drain can damage the sewer system, cause sewer backups in your home, and sewer releases to the environment.Anyone who uses the city sewer system should be responsible for what they flush or pour down drains.

Don't Flush This...

Basically, the only thing you should ever flush down a toilet is human waste (urine and feces) and regular toilet paper. Here is a list of some things to keep out of the toilet.
  • wipes, even if they say flushable on the label
  • disposable diapers
  • tampons and tampon applicators
  • sanitary napkins
  • cotton balls and swabs
  • mini or maxi pads
  • condoms
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  • cleaning wipes of any kind
  • facial tissue
  • bandages and bandage wrappings
  • automotive fluids
  • paint, solvents, sealants and thinners
  • poisons and hazardous waste
  • pet poop

Unused Medications

Do not flush unused medications down the toilet. You can safely dispose of medications in the garbage, or take medications to an approved prescription drug take-back site or event.

Fats, Oils & Grease

Grease and oils in the sewer pipes causes sewer maintenance problems for property owners and the city. Never pour grease or oil in your sink drain. Also, try to use your garbage disposal less as seed, meats and uncooked vegetable mater do not break down in the sewer system or in the treatment plant.

Want More Evidence?

For more information and to see some research on this topic, watch this video from the Water Environment Federation.