What Not to Flush – a Friendly & Important Reminder

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased use of cleaning products. Wastewater Treatment Operators at the Town of Collingwood have noticed single-use “flushable” wipes, paper towels, gloves, and other items in the sanitary system. These items are clogging up Town sewers and pumps because they were never meant to go down the drain. 

Wipes, paper towels, and gloves do not break down like toilet paper. They can cause damage to the Town sewer system and even cause a sewer back-up in homes. Although the packaging indicates “flushable”, these wipes do not break down and cause a serious backlog. Not only does this cause damage to the Town’s infrastructure, but it is also putting Wastewater Treatment Operators at risk. The equipment must be fully shut down, removed from service, cleaned, repaired, or replaced. This takes a lot of time, taking operators away from other essential duties and creates an added financial burden on the Town. This is not just the Town’s problem; these same items can clog the plumbing in your home, requiring expensive repairs.

So where do you put these non-flushable/ “flushable” items? Gloves and non-flushable/ “flushable” wipes (e.g., baby wipes, cleaning wipes) go in the garbage, while paper towels, and even fats, oils, and grease go in the green bin. Not down the drain! An easy way to remember what goes down the toilet is #1, #2, and TP (toilet paper) only.  

Please share the message “Only Flush Toilet Paper” so that we can keep our essential services up and running!

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