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What Not To Flush

askHRgreen What not to Flush

Don’t use the toilet as a trash can!
Your toilet is not a trash can. And if you use it as one, please reconsider!

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. But this system was only designed to transport toilet paper, water and human waste. When you use it as a trash can, the trash clogs the lines and pumps of the sanitary sewer system. Clogs lead to system breakdowns and sewage overflows. These sewage overflows require expensive repairs and hurt our local economy and waterways.

  • Only toilet paper, water and human waste 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. 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.
  • Flushing your trash leads 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 falls 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 breakdown 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.
  • Never flush these products down the toilet:
    • Facial tissues
    • Paper Towels
    • Baby wipes/personal hygiene wipes – even if they are labeled flushable
    • All-purpose cleaning wipes – even if they are labeled flushable
    • Cotton swabs
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Cat litter
    • Fats, oils and grease from the kitchen
    • Food scraps from the kitchen
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