To Flush or Not to Flush: A Guide to Protecting Your Plumbing

by | Jun 30, 2024

Flushing your toilet might seem like a simple, everyday task, but what you flush can have significant impacts on your home’s plumbing and municipal sewer systems. Many items we use daily should never be flushed, as they can cause blockages, damage pipes, and harm wastewater collection and treatment systems. By being mindful of what goes down the toilet, you can help keep your pipes flowing smoothly and protect the environment. Here’s a guide on what not to flush:

  • Personal Hygiene and Health Products:
    • Medication
    • Adhesive and medical bandages
    • Dental floss
    • Cotton swabs
    • Facial wipes (even those labeled “flushable”)
    • Diapers
    • Baby wipes
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Condoms
  • Hazardous Waste Materials:
    • Automotive fluids,
    • Paint
    • Glue thinner
    • Poison
    • Insecticides 
    • Kerosene
    • Lighter fluid
    • Oven cleaner
    • Floor cleaner
    • Battery acid
    • Fertilizer
    • Photographic chemicals
  • Other products:
    • Kitty litter
    • Paper towels
    • Cigarette butts
    • Food
    • Hair
    • Disposable wipes
    • Cleaning rags

Flushing responsibly helps maintain a healthy plumbing system and protects the environment. The safety of your wastewater’s journey is MetroConnects’ utmost priority. Keeping it in the pipes and moving along to ReWa’s facilities helps keep our local water sources clean and clear of contaminants that can be spread through waste. Backups in pipes caused by wipes and other items, fats, oils, or greases (FOG), or root intrusion can lead to backups into your homes or Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) out of manholes, where the wastewater inevitably makes its way into groundwater or nearby rivers and creeks. Debris can also make its way to ReWa’s treatment facilities, causing clogs and the need for costly equipment repairs. Keeping these materials out of our wastewater stream is everyone’s responsibility. Even if you don’t see a backup on your end of the pipes, the clogs cause a costly headache for the community as a whole. Remember, we are in this together!

By thinking before you flush, you contribute to a healthier, more sustainable environment for everyone. Let’s work together to keep our pipes clear and our water clean! For more information, call MetroConnects at 864-277-4442 or visit www.cleanwaterforward.org.