Before You Flush
Many people don’t realize that so-called “flushables” are not flushable. Flushing anything except urine, regular toilet paper, and human waste is asking for trouble.
Examples of the items you should not flush are: paper towels, wipes, floss, tampons, cotton balls, pads, hair, diapers, kitty litter, and cotton swab sticks.
Why are these a problem? There are a couple of reasons:
One: In our experience, many if not most plugged toilet and sewer calls are the result of people flushing non-flushables down the toilet. Debris catches onto roots and imperfections on the inside of the side sewer line. This can cause a slow, clogged, or completely blocked sewer line. Seattle’s (and other cities’) sewer lines were not designed for these items.
Two: Waste water treatment plants are also not designed to process these items. The result of flushing these items means someone else is cleaning them out of the pipes downstream from you. Non-flushables clog the intake pumps to the waste water treatment plant. Divers are needed to pull out wipes, tampons, hair, string, and makeup pads. We taxpayers pay for these needed services in our sewer bills.
To see what happens when you flush non-flushables down the toilet, watch one of these short Seattle Public Utilities videos: Make It A Straight Flush and Straight Flush.
It takes effort to change the habit of using your toilet as a garbage can, but this change in habit could save you many thousands of dollars in repairs. Place a plastic lined container next to your toilet for these non-flushables and dispose of the contents in the garbage can.
Furthermore, don’t believe the advertisements promising the convenience of non-flushables.
Lastly, tell your friends and neighbors!