top of page
  • Writer's pictureKB Builders Tampa Bay

Septic problems in your Tampa Bay home? Household items you should never flush.

Updated: Jun 13

Although flushing may appear to be a straightforward and regular task, numerous individuals flush items that can lead to significant issues for both local and national sewage systems.

Recently, wastewater agencies and experts from the wipes industry joined forces to conduct the most extensive study on domestic sewage collection. The aim was to identify the causes of sewer lines and equipment clogs. The study's results have been released, revealing a significant issue.

What is indicated by the numbers?

During peak flow times, more than 1,700 items were captured, sorted, and identified in the study. The discovered materials comprised:

* 34.1% non-flushable wipes labeled with the "Do Not Flush" symbol (baby wipes, cleaning wipes, makeup wipes, etc.)

* 64.9% other non-flushable items (paper towels, period products, trash, etc.)

* 0.9% wipes labeled as flushable

Less than 1% of sewer system debris consisted of wipes labeled as "flushable," which were disintegrating, whereas most non-flushable items retrieved were still fully intact.

Why is this such a significant issue?

One might be tempted to think that flushing a non-flushable item occasionally is not a significant issue. Nevertheless, products such as paper towels, baby wipes, makeup wipes, and rags are not meant to go through sewage systems at any stage.

Flushable wipes made from natural fibers easily break down, unlike non-flushable items that can lead to pipe blockages in your home. While non-flushable items may pass through your home's waste system, they can still create issues in your local sewer system and further downstream.

Municipal wastewater systems' pumps, augers, and pipe networks are not designed to transport or disintegrate these materials. When enough non-flushable items accumulate, they can solidify into fatbergs resembling cement, requiring costly removal.

Numerous sewer spills occur every year, with a large portion attributed to the introduction of non-flushable items into the wastewater system. The cleanup of these wastewater spills is costly and messy. Furthermore, these spills pose a risk to public health and the environment.

The cost to the public and you

Fixing problems caused by non-flushable products is quite expensive. A home clog can cost homeowners anywhere from $175 to more than $1,000 to repair. Even if you don't pay for a plumber for your pipes, you may end up paying for damage to wastewater systems.

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies estimates that local public agencies throughout the U.S. (and the ratepayers they represent) spend more than $440 million each year to respond to sewer overflows caused by inappropriately flushing "Do Not Flush" labeled wet wipes and repair wastewater treatment equipment.

How can you help?

While non-flushable products clogging the nation's sewer systems is a massive problem, everyone can do their part to solve it. You can help by learning and practicing intelligent flushing habits.

Everyday household items that you should NEVER flush include:

* Baby wipes, household cleaning wipes and makeup wipes

* Paper towels and facial tissues

* Fats, oils and grease

* Food, trash, and plastic bags

* Rags, cloth and dis, posable gloves

* Cotton balls, cotton swabs, and den,tal floss

* Feminine products

* Hair and hair weaves

* Medications and syringes

Be especially cautious when flushing wipes. In the U.S., 90% of wipes sold are non-flushable. When purchasing and using wipes, look for the "Do Not Flush" symbol on the front of the packaging. If you can't find the symbol, err on caution and dispose of the wipes in your garbage can.

Practice smart flushing habits to take care of your pipes and help reduce damage to the nation's sewage systems. To learn more about the study, visit

5 views0 comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page