Read This Before You Flush That – What You Can and Cannot Flush Down Your Toilet

To flush or not to flush? As qualified residential plumbing representatives, let us help you with that question! Not only can flushing the wrong things cause embarrassing and expensive issues on your own property, it can also affect public water sources and treatment facilities. We’ve put together lists of items you should never flush down your toilet.

Not All Paper is Created Equal

Most paper products other than toilet paper are designed to hold together when wet, absorb water, and break down slowly, spelling T-R-O-U-B-L-E for your system.

  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Cigarette butts

Say No to Drugs

Treatment plants aren’t set up to remove most chemicals found in drugs so harmful chemicals can end up in lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater.

  • Prescription and over the counter medication, liquid or pill forms

Keep Your Hygiene to Yourself (or Your Wastebasket)

These items do not break down and can not only clog your pipes and cause major issues in septic systems, but cause problems even if they do make it through to the treatment plant.

  • Sanitary pads and tampons
  • Condoms
  • Diapers
  • Hair
  • Bandaids
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Dental floss

Toxins, Poisons and Hazards, Oh My

Not only do these contain harsh chemicals that can adversely affect pipes and other parts of your system, wastewater plants aren’t prepared to deal with them and neither are employees.

  • Corrosives (acidic or caustic)
  • Flammable or explosive liquids
  • Paints, stains, preservatives
  • Solvents, sealers, thinners
  • Fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides

Food Stays in the Kitchen

Grease starts out looking like a liquid but quickly solidifies, and that can cause major problems, especially over time, as can other more solid by-products of food consumption.

  • Fats, oils, grease
  • Egg or nut shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Food of any kind
  • Gum

You Animal

Pet feces should never be disposed of in septic systems, but can sometimes be flushed into public systems – check with your local waste treatment plant if they allow and are capable of handling pet waste before you flush!

  • No critters dead or alive
  • Cat litter (not even the “flushable” kind!)

If In Doubt, Give it a KISS

Keep it simple. If it is not human waste or toilet paper, don’t hit that flush handle. But if the unthinkable happens and something that gets down those pipes that shouldn’t, give us a call and we’ll send out one of our residential plumbing specialists!