Our sewer system can’t handle a lot of the materials that some of us flush down the toilet. When baby wipes, disposable mop cloths, feminine hygiene products and other items go down the toilet they can clump together and form a large, solid mass. This mass then blocks pipes, which can damage equipment, cause sewage to overflow into the environment and ultimately, cost taxpayers money. In some cases, pipes at sewage pumping stations need to be manually unblocked two to three times every week to keep our system running.
Even many products that are labeled as flushable can cause big problems. Some of the top items that should not go down the toilet are:
- Baby wipes
- Disposable cleaning cloths
- Disposable mop cloths and mop pads
- Pads, tampons (and applicators)
- Dental floss
- Grease and food
Help improve wastewater treatment by putting these items in the garbage, not the toilet. Or better yet, use a non-disposable option when possible. Food and grease can be composted – check with your municipality to find out about what is accepted in your organics collection program.