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For a cleaner, greener Hampton Roads
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Jan 17, 2023

No Wipes in Pipes!

First, a word about our pipes… Beneath our cities, there is a vast amount of infrastructure — more than 6,500 miles of water distribution pipeline and 5,800 miles of sanitary sewer lines throughout Hampton Roads. And when they’re not treated properly so fluid can keep flowing smoothly, well, unpleasant things can happen.

One of the worst offenders is wipes. EVEN THE ONES THAT SAY THEY’RE FLUSHABLE.

Beware of the clog monster! 

Clogging is such a big problem, that we’ve created messaging that deals specifically with these so-called flushable wipes. Besides wipes of any kind, do not put grease down the drain, and dispose of tissues, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, cat litter and the like in the trash, where they belong.

Good to Know

  • Only pee, poo and toilet paper 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Good to Do

Never flush these products down the toilet:

  • Baby or personal hygiene wipes – even if they are labeled flushable!
  • All-purpose cleaning wipes – even if they are labeled flushable!
  • Facial tissues
  • Paper towels
  • 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

No Wipes in Pipes! Media Toolkit