Preventing Wastewater Backups
Anything that goes down the drain or the toilet goes into the wastewater system. Keeping solids out of the drains helps keep your plumbing system and the wastewater system free of debris or damage. Any debris that builds up in the plumbing or wastewater system can cause blockages that can result in unpleasant, expensive damage and the risk of exposure to bacteria from raw sewage.
The wastewater system is designed to carry only three things: water, human waste and toilet paper. Anything other than these can cause blockages and major damage to the wastewater pipes and system.
Refrain from Washing it Down the Drain
Keep the following out of the drain:
- No Fats, Oils or Grease (F.O.G.) – Meat fats and juices, lard, cooking oils, butter, dairy products, etc. should be scraped and disposed of in the trashcan.
- No Food Scraps – Use sink strainers to catch food scraps then throw scraps into the trashcan.
- No Produce Peels, Produce Stickers, Seeds, Stems, etc. – Discard these in the trash instead of down the drain.
- No Eggshells, Nutshells or Coffee Grinds – These belong in the trash, not the drain.
Can’t Flush This - The Toilet is Not a Trashcan
Keep the following out of the toilet:
- No Cat Litter or Gravel – Cat litter, even that labeled “flushable,” aquarium gravel or earth gravel builds up in the system causing clogs.
- No Wipes of ANY Kind – Whether for cleaning, removing makeup, babies or personal hygiene, disposable “flushable” wipes should not be flushed. Even though the packaging is labeled “flushable” these do not break down but wad up and catch other debris in the system.
- No Personal Hygiene Items – Dental floss, cotton swabs, cotton balls, feminine products, condoms, whitening strips, bandages, hair, etc. should only go in the trash.
- No Pharmaceuticals or Over-The-Counter Medications – Medications should always be taken to the local drop box for safe disposal. Throw old vitamins in the trash.
- No Bags, Rags, Diapers or Paper Towels – These are not meant for the wastewater system, only trash.