The 4 Ps of Flushing

To flush, or not to flush, that is the question.

While the answer seems apparent, many items not designed to be flushed make it into our collection system every day.  These items cause sewer overflows and wreak havoc with our water reclamation facility equipment.  Other times the backup appears a little closer to home, with sewage seeping up through a bathtub or toilet in your own home.

You have the power to prevent sewer overflows by remembering one simple rule:

The 4 Ps of Flushing: Pee, Poo, Paper, and Puke

The 4 Ps of Flushing is a very basic, simple rule. Only Pee, Poo, Paper, and Puke should go down a toilet. To clear up any potential confusion, the "P" representing "Paper" refers only to toilet paper.

Easy & Awesome Guide to 4 Ps of Flushing

back up
  A sewer overflow can occur in your home.
Items that start with P but are NOT one of the 4 P's
Prophylactics (aka condoms)
Plastics (such as tampon applicators)
Packaged "flushable" wipes/baby wipes
Personal care items
Paper towels
Ping pong balls
Pet litter
Items we have found at our water reclamation facilities.  These items belong in the trash can, not the toilet.
Collage of Items Not to Flush
A cardboard box with tomatoes, meat, onions, and other raw foods on the counter to use for a meal

What about cold packs in meal delivery kits?

Cold packs accompanying meal home delivery kits may instruct customers to dispose of the inner substance down the drain or toilet.  The liquid in the packs can clog pipes and should NOT be flushed down the toilet or poured down drains.

Recommended ways to dispose of the gel packs:  

  1. Cut open packet and mix with kitty litter or other absorbent material (paper towels, rags, even dirt), bag securely and put in trash.  Recycle the plastic with grocery bags/stretch wrap.
  2. Place the entire packet in a plastic trash bag with kitty litter or absorbent materials to prevent leaks; place bag in trash for disposal.
  3. Reuse packs or contact local food banks or similar organizations about donating packs.

Note: Liquid waste should not be put into trash; solidify first.  Gel packets cause clogs in sewer pipes.