Before Flushing...

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Just because the product claims to be flushable doesn’t mean it is.

Many baby and adult personal hygiene products, along with household wipes and cleaning towelettes are labeled both “disposable” and “flushable.” Unlike toilet paper, these products do not break down once they are flushed. They can cause blockages in your sewer line and leave you with a very costly sewer repair.

Clogged SewerOn a larger scale these items collect when making their way into the public sewer system causing clogs in the main collector lines. They can also get tangled in pump stations requiring repair or replacement of equipment.

The following should never be flushed, but instead placed in the trash:

  • Mop or “Swiffer” type refills
  • Wipes (baby, pet care, disinfecting/surface, jewelry, towelettes, cosmetic First Aid, etc.)
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable diapers or diaper liners
  • Bio-pads (nursing home, home health care, etc.)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Sheet plastic or plastic of any kind
  • Egg shells, nutshells, coffee grounds or any food items
  • Fats, oils or greases
  • Dental floss
  • Sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms or any non-organic material
  • Disposable toilet brushes
  • Cat Litter

The only product that should be flushed is toilet paper. 

For more information, contact Engineering and GIS at 540-443-1300. 


References

Increasingly clogged sewers attributed to popular ‘flushable’ wipesThe Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2013

Wet Wipes Box Says Flush. New York’s Sewer System Says Don’t.The New York Times, March 13, 2015

Flushability of Wipes Spawns Class-Action LawsuitABC News, March 4, 2014