What should not go down the drain?

Not everything can go down the sewer. Your household plumbing (drains from sinks, showers, toilets, etc.) is attached to a network of City sewage pipes that eventually flow to the Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). It’s meant for pee, poop, and toilet paper. When other things go down the drain they cause problems:

Sanitary Products, Paper Towels, Diapers, Baby Wipes and Facial Tissues are made of materials that don’t break down and can cause all pipes to clog. The trash is the place for these items.

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) should never be poured down the sink or garbage disposal. FOG sticks to the interior surface of the sewer pipes, hardens over time and eventually may cause sewage to backup and lead to a sewage spill in your home or on our streets. Running hot water as you pour the grease down the drain will not help either. Many people are unaware that pouring hot water and detergent down the drain only breaks up grease temporarily. The best way to get rid of small amounts of FOG is to let it cool/harden, mix it with other absorbent materials, place it in a bag or container and then throw it in the trash.

Prescription Drugs, Over-The-Counter Medications contain chemicals that you don’t want entering the wastewater supply. The RWQCP isn’t designed to remove those chemicals from the water. The best way to dispose of items like these is to make them undesirable, such as crushing them and then mixing with coffee grounds, kitty litter or dirt before sealing them in a plastic bag and disposing in the trash.

Kitty Litter (especially clay kitty litter) will sooner or later clog your pipes, even the ones that claim to be “flushable.” Far more problematic is Toxoplasmosis, a parasite found in cat waste that is harmful to marine biology. It’s better to keep your cat waste out of wastewater and just put it in the trash.

Household hazardous materials such as motor oil, pesticides, paint and solvents should never be poured down the drain. All of these are highly toxic and will cause long term damage to the environment. Find out how to properly dispose of these by clicking HERE.

Other things like food, coffee grounds, eggshells, hair, dental floss, etc. should not be put down the sewer either. These clog pipes and are difficult to remove.