Wastewater is what you flush down the toilet and pour down the drain in your home or business. If the wrong items are going into the sewer system, there is a potential for plumbing issues, increased utility costs and an impact to the environment. Find out what items are not appropriate for flushing into the toilet, draining in a sink, or pouring into a catch basin.
Think Before You Flush
Inappropriate items flushed down the toilet could create plumbing issues for your home’s sewer system. As well, it can impact City’s utility costs as a result of increased maintenance or additional work to clean the wastewater at the treatment plant.
Only flush the 3Ps – pee, poo, paper (toilet paper). Even products marketed as ‘flushable’ can harm the sewer system. Flushing anything other than the 3P's can damage your home’s sewer system and result in costly repairs. It can also damage the City’s sewer system by clogging pipes with materials that don’t belong and as a result, City crews have to clean or repair the system more frequently.
Put these items in the garbage:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Wipes marked flushable (baby, facial, hand)
- Cleaning rags
- Cotton swabs/cotton balls
- Paper towels, facial tissues
- Dental floss
- Household hazardous waste
Think Before You Drain
Pouring fats, oils and grease (FOG) down a sink, toilet or shower can cause blockages in your homes sewer system. Draining bacon fat or grease from ground beef into your kitchen sink, even with hot water, can cause a blockage. The same with oils and fats such as lard, butter, salad dressing, or milk.
When the warm fats, oils or grease are poured down the drain, they cool, harden and stick on the inside of the sewer pipe. This material will build up over time and could block the whole pipe, causing a sewage back up in your home or your neighbourhood.
Instead, pour or scrape the material into a container, like a disposable cup, and place it in the garbage. Remember to recycle the empty containers into your blue cart recycling.
What are fats, oils and grease?
- Butter or margarine
- Salad dressings
- Cooking oils
- Olive oils
- Sauces and gravies
- Meat fats
- Milk and cream
- Sandwich spreads
Impact of Unacceptable Items
Here's what happens when you flush or pour unacceptable items into our sewer system.