While the scourge of the sewers is ultimately a manifestation of our collective flushing habits, the solution can be found in the same place: our behavior. Remember that only the three Ps should ever be flushed down a toilet:
- Paper (toilet paper, that is)
Don’t laugh! Pee and poo are no laughing matters in this instance. Those are the only safe things to deposit in the toilet, along with the toilet paper you use to clean up. That’s it!
One of the most common culprits of clogs and damage are wipes, also known as baby wipes, wet wipes, or sanitary wipes. Many of these products are labeled on the package as “flushable,” but the truth is that these items are not, in fact, safe for sewers or septic systems. They do not break down like toilet paper and can turn into the despised fatbergs of legend.
There are too many other possibilities to list them all, but some other common items that water systems report clogging wastewater pipes include:
- paper towels
- facial tissue
- cotton swabs
- gum wrappers
- candy wrappers
- facial pads
- dental floss
- cotton balls
- scoops of cat litter
- women’s hygiene products
- adhesive bandages
- makeup remover wipes
Most of us have probably tossed at least one of these items in a toilet at one time or another, but thousands of people habitually doing so causes major problems. Remind your friends and family to put these items, along with wipes, in a trash can.