What Is Flushable?
If it isn’t toilet paper or human waste, do not flush it. Although the toilet may seem like a simple and easy way for disposal, it is not a trash can. For those who are connected to the sanitary sewer system, everything that gets flushed travels through the pipes of the sanitary sewer system and to the wastewater treatment plant. Flushing anything that is not “flushable” contributes to home plumbing blockages, septic system issues, sewer overflows, and increased work for sewer crews and wastewater treatment plants.
Is It Really “Flushable” If It Clogs?
Products that are deemed “flushable” may be able to flush down the toilet; however, most do not break down as they travel through plumbing and end up getting caught and causing blockages. DO NOT flush any kind of wipes (baby wipes, hand towelettes, make up remover wipes, disinfecting wipes, etc.), cotton swabs, rags/towels, food wrappers, cigarette butts, disposable cleaning supplies, food, rubber gloves, dental floss, facial tissue, or prescription and over-the-counter medication. All of these items end up causing blockages and could cause sewage to back-up into homes and business, or even spill-over into public streets and down the storm water drain and into our surface water and groundwater, which could become a serious public health safety issue.
Just because a product is labeled as “flushable” or “safe for septic systems” does not mean it really is. Seeing something go down the drain does not mean it is gone. Habitually flushing items down the toilet can create significant costs for the property owner or the municipality. The property owner is responsible for maintenance and repairs of all plumbing, including the service line from the street line (which is typically from the back side of the sidewalk, or 8-10” off the edge of the pavement) to the house. Properly disposing of items, instead of flushing them all, can save property owners and the Passamaquoddy Tribe millions of dollars and help preserve our sanitary sewer system.
Do Not Flush Drugs or Hazardous Waste
Dispose of all medication and drugs at the Indian Township Police Department’s drop box, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other items that should not be flushed include any household hazardous materials: motor oil, paint, chemicals, or pesticides. These materials are toxic and have a detrimental effect on our water supply. Look for information soon regarding the disposal of household hazardous waste items.
Use Your Garbage
Instead of flushing miscellaneous items down the toilet, properly dispose of them in the garbage. The same rule applies to garbage disposals – use it in moderation and be sure to use a drain screen to catch excess food to prevent items from going down the drain and through the sanitary sewer system. Never pour fats, oils, or greases down the drain.
Help protect Passamaquoddy’s sewer lines and do not flush if it isn’t toilet paper or human waste. All other miscellaneous items should be disposed of properly in the trash, or at the Annual Household Hazardous Waste Day or Drug Take Back Program.
Roger Brown: (207) 214-4763
Jamey Young: (815) 441-5075