Did you know?
- Everything put in your toilet goes to a wastewater treatment facility.
- Drains and sewers are designed for human wastes, toilet paper and wastewater only.
- Flushing paper towels and other garbage down the toilet can create sewer backups and overflows.
- Food waste should be put in your composter.
- Special wastes depots will take many household chemicals and wastes.
How the sanitary sewer system works
Everything flushed down your toilet or household sink goes to our sanitary sewer system. The sanitary sewer system is a series of underground pipes that transport sewage to a wastewater treatment facility. There, the sewage is treated to a regulated standard and then released into local rivers or lakes.
Help minimize impacts on the environment
Sometimes waste items can pass through the sewage treatment plant and end up in streams, rivers and lakes. It’s extremely important to keep medicines and household wastes out of the toilet and dispose of them properly.
What should I do?
Flush the right stuff
Make sure you only flush toilet paper down your toilet. Our sewage system isn’t designed to handle anything else. Even items that claim to be flushable should be disposed of in another manner.
Help prevent back-ups and overflows
Flushing the wrong things down your toilet can block sewer pipes. This may create sewer backups and lead to basement flooding. It can also cause sewage to overflow into local rivers and lakes.
Know how to correctly dispose of items
PUT THESE ITEMS IN THE GARBAGE:
- Baby wipes
- Bandages, bandage wrappers
- cleaning wipes
- Colostomy bags
- Combs or brushes
- Cotton balls, swabs or pads
- Dental floss
- Disposable diapers
- Fats, oils and grease
- Food waste
- Flushable wipes
- Kitty litter
- Rags, cloths
- Rubber or plastic items (e.g., latex gloves)
- Sanitary pads and tampon applicators
- Tights and pantyhose
PUT THESE ITEMS IN THE COMPOSTER
- Food waste
- Hardened fats, oils and grease
- Paper towels
TAKE TO A SPECIAL WASTE DEPOT
- Paint, solvents
- Motor oil
DISPOSING OF MEDICINE
- Medicines flushed down toilets can end up in streams, rivers and lakes.
- Low concentrations of medicines are being found in sewage and surface waters.
- Remember to always dispose of medicines by taking them to your pharmacy.
- Never flush medicine down the toilet.
DISPOSING OF HOUSEHOLD SPECIAL WASTE (HSW)
HSW is any material that is corrosive, flammable, ignitable or reactive – and includes household items such as bleach, cleansers, nail
polish and paint. Items considered HSW should never be put down the sink or flushed down the toilet. Instead, they should be taken to a Household Special Waste depot for proper disposal.