Plenty are aware of the toilet paper frenzy currently taking place, but what many aren’t aware of is the impact of putting more than waste down your toilet.
“Paper towels, sanitary wipes, napkins, diapers and other items are not meant for the sewer system and can overload and clog sewer lines,” said John Murphy, Master Plumber at Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric.
Applewood recommends only flushing the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper. Our wastewater treatment plant can treat the first two, which flow and breakdown and toilet paper dissolves in water, reducing the risk of trapping grease or building up in the sewer system. The rest can be a real potential for blockages in residential pipes causing back ups into homes and operational challenges further down the line at the wastewater treatment plant.
While there are many products on the market that claim to be flushable, experienced plumbers can speak to the many clogged drains and sewer lines because of these products. Even the biodegradable items take a long time to breakdown and be clear in the system. It is better to put them into the trash than down the toilet. You should avoid flushing Q-tips, hygiene and feminine products as well, as they can expand in water and collect grease, clump and create clogs that can result in backups, according to Murphy.
“They catch on debris and roots, especially in older sewer lines. Wipes can absolutely clog your pipes, we see it all the time even when they say they are flushable,” Murphy said. “Toilet paper is your best bet to keep your sewer lines clear and working.”
We often overlook those systems in our regular maintenance that we can’t readily see. Taking the simple measure to only flush the three Ps can help prevent unnecessary clogs, repairs and disruption in your service.