Avoid Drain Pain - Don't Flush These Things
Just because the package says flushable doesn't mean it's true. Many items marketed as disposable and/or flushable do not degrade like toilet paper, and they wind up clogging pipes, tangling pumps and causing messy sewer backups into streets, businesses and homes.
Our sewers are designed to dispose of very specific things. Using your toilet for disposal of many modern products can result in blockages. The drains that connect your home to the main sewer are only big enough to carry water, toilet paper and human waste. Sewer pipes are often no wider than 4 inches.
What Not to Flush
So what Can I do?
- Diapers - cloth, disposable, flushable
- Facial tissues
- Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, moist wipes, etc.
- Toilet bowl scrub pads
- Napkins - paper or cloth, paper towels
- Dental floss
- Egg shells, nutshells and coffee grounds
- Fats, oils, and greases
- Food items containing seeds and peelings
- Sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms or any non-organic material
- Vitamins, medicines or other pharmaceuticals
- Wash cloths, towels, rags (any cloth item)
- Sheet plastic or plastic of any kind
What should be flushed?
- Avoid purchasing flushable items. Clean with a sponge or a rag that you can reuse.
- Use the City's food waste recycling program or compost your food waste .
- Discard hazardous materials such as used motor oil, antifreeze, etc., at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility (free of charge for Pierce County residents), 3510 South Mullen Street. For more information, call (253) 591-5418.
- If it can't be reused, recycled or composted, please place it in the garbage.
What about wet wipes?
The Flushability Test
What happens if I have a blockage?
The City is responsible for cleaning the City's pipes and they frequently clear blockages. However, home owners are responsible for maintaining side sewers which connect from your home to the City's main lines in the streets. For more information, call (253) 591-5585.