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Green Homes & Businesses

Toilets: What Not To Flush

The sanitary sewer system is responsible for carrying wastewater away from your home and into wastewater treatment facilities where it is cleaned before returning to local waterways. When you use it as a trash can, the trash creates clogs, which lead to system breakdowns and sewage overflows.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Only toilet paper, water and waste created by the human body can be safely flushed down the toilet.
  • Product labeling is often misleading. Items marketed as “flushable” are regularly found in clogged pipes and broken pumps throughout the sanitary sewer system.
  • Flushing your trash can lead to service interruptions and expensive repairs to home and municipal plumbing lines. If a clog occurs in your home plumbing, the responsibility and cost of repairs fall to you. If a clog occurs in the municipal sewer line, the cost of repairs could be passed on to users in the form of higher utility fees.
  • When a clog or break down occurs, untreated sewage can back up into your home, your neighborhood or our waterways.
  • If untreated sewage backs up into streets it has a chance to enter our storm drains and waterways. Untreated sewage is a dangerous pollutant because it causes sudden increases in nitrogen and bacteria. High levels of nitrogen and bacteria result in declines to local aquatic life, beach closures and health warnings on local seafood consumption.
  • Seeing is believing! The City of Spokane has a great video called “Will it Flush?” that shows exactly why toilet paper is the only product suitable for the sanitary sewer system.

GOOD TO DO

Never flush these products down the toilet:

  • Facial tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Baby or personal hygiene wipes – even if they are labeled flushable
  • All-purpose cleaning wipes – even if they are labeled flushable
  • Disposable diaper liners
  • Cotton swabs
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Family planning products
  • Cat litter
  • Fats, oils, and grease from the kitchen
  • Food scraps from the kitchen

ARE YOU A BAY STAR HOME?

We live in a beautiful region surrounded by water. It impacts everything from the food we eat to the fun we have as well as our economic livelihood. Our daily actions have a lasting impact and it's up to us to protect and restore our waterways. It takes a community of individuals making small changes to make a difference. Bay Star Homes is one way you can get involved in the effort to protect our region's most defining natural resource, water.

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