Help Stop Sewer Spills, Protect Health & the Bay
1. Your Toilet is Not a Trashcan - Flush Smart
When In Doubt, Throw It Out!
Products such as cleaning, make-up and baby wipes, paper towels and rags, should never be flushed. They can get caught in sewer pipes and are among the leading causes of blockages, resulting in spills and backups. So instead of flushing them down the toilet, dispose of them in the trash.
If It Doesn't Say Flushable, It's Not!
- Protect Your Home. Wipes cause costly, messy, unsanitary sewer clogs and spills.
- Prevent Sewer Spills and Overflows. Wipes can clog pumps and pipes in the sewer system and treatment plant.
- Protect the Environment. Microfibers shed off of wipes that are flushed and can make their way into the environment.
- Disrupt Treatment Plants. Masses of wipes, floss, and other non-flushable materials can damage treatment plants.
Photos Below Shows How Wipes, Rags and Other Items Clog Sewers
TV News Story on Keeping Wipes Out of Pipes!
It has great visuals, including a photo showing one of our staff members with a clogged pump, crews unclogging sewer pipes with a Vactor truck, and a quick water test showing how durable disinfecting wipes are.
A Brief Video on only flushing toilet paper from Sanitation Agencies of Marin County.
Additional Wipes Clog Pipes Resources:
Many of the disinfecting wipes and paper towels people are using for Coronavirus cleaning are getting flushed, causing costly and unsanitary sewer clogs and spills.
- Colorful poster showing how wipes harm home plumbing, sewer systems, and the environment. (PDF).
- State Water Board advises public to NOT flush wipes and towels and instead throw them in the trash (PDF).
- EPA encourages Americans to only flush toilet paper not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash.
- View links, videos, news stories, legislation, and more on how wipes clog pipes.
These sample hashtags are a good place to start to search for additional information on wipes clogging pipes: #CleanFlush #CleanPipes #KeepItClean #NoCleanUp #NothingButtTP #NoWipesInPipes #WipesClogPipes
Keep These Out Of Your Toilet!
- disposable diapers
- baby, personal and cleaning wipes
- dental floss
- food wrappers
- condiment packets
- soiled clothing
- Cat litter
- Animal waste
- syringes, condoms, tampons, and wrappers
- paper towels
- leftover pharmaceuticals, pills, individual wrappers
- grocery store produce stickers (used by individual grocery stores to code produce for the cashier)
- fats, oils, and grease from pots, pans, and dishes
2. Keep Fats, Oils and Grease Out of Sinks
Huge Blobs of Fat and Trash Are Filling the World’s Sewers
Mountains of grease and debris known as fatbergs are blocking toilets, breaking pipes, and...
Keep Fats, Oils and Grease Out of Your Drains
Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG) are a major cause of sewer clogs when they are washed down the drain. Hot water and soap may clear the junk out of your sink, but the fatty waste does not disappear, it travels down the pipes coating them as it cools and trapping food particles.
Over time this build up contributes to expensive clogs in your home and in the sewer system that can lead to overflows, backups, and serious environmental damage.
Tips for Disposing of Fats, Oils and Grease
- Pour cooled fat and grease into a disposable container, seal, and put in the trash.
- Wipe any excess grease off of pans and dishes with a paper towel and toss the used paper in the green cart.
- Compost food scraps, meat and bones, they all go in the green cart. Use your disposer to clear your drain not as a trashcan.