One of the most important things citizens can do to help protect their plumbing system at home, while also helping avoid clogs in the City's sewer mains, is to be mindful of what they are flushing down toilets and putting down the drains.
BYPASS THE BOWL
This should be easy, just follow the 3 Ps - only Pee, Poo, and toilet Paper should be flushed down the toilet.
What You Should NOT Flush and Why:
Wipes (yes, even the ones that say "flushable") Even though some wipes say they are flushable and they seem to go down just fine, wipes actually don't dissolve like toilet paper and can cause massive blockages.
Personal Hygiene Products A lot of materials like dental floss, Q-tips and tampons contain plastics that take a really long time to break down and can quickly bind up together to block pipes.
Medicines Medications can not always be filtered out of our water supply and can affect our surface and drinking water.
Cigarette Butts Since cigarette butts do not breakdown, they will eventually cause blockages. they are also filled with dangerous chemicals that can work their way into our waterways.
Hair Yes, even hair can form giant balls that can trap odors and create blockages in your plumbing.
When poured down the drain, grease, cooking oil, leftover food items and even dairy products can congeal in your pipes and cause backups and costly plumbing repairs. These can cause even more damage down the line as they combine with wipes and other items that don't break down, creating "fatburgs" that can clog the City's sewer mains and waste limited community resources to repair.
These Items DO NOT Belong In Your Drain:
Rice and Pasta Both rice and pasta will expand when mixed with water, causing a thick paste that will easily clog your drain.
Fats, Oils and Grease Fatty foods and cooking by-products will cool and harden inside pipes, building up over time to cause blockages.
Food Scraps Despite what you may have heard, egg shells do not sharpen the blades of your garbage disposal. Egg shells, bones, fruit pits and other food scraps should be thrown in the trash.
Dairy Dairy products contain lots of fats that can congeal in our pipes. They also add loads of excess bacteria to our wastewater that requires extra effort to treat before water can be released back into our waterways.
Cities all over the country are dealing with aging sanitary sewer infrastructure and the buildup of "fatburgs." These giant clogs in the sewer system are a tangled mess of wipes and plastic items flushed down toilets and congealed with fats and grease that have escaped down the drain. Fatburgs can buildup and block sewer mains and also cause the overflow of untreated sewage into our neighborhoods and ultimately our waterways.
By doing your part to avoid disposing of these items down the toilet or drain, you are doing your part to not only protect your property from unnecessary clogs and backups, but you are also helping save community resources, protecting public health and protecting the environment.