No wipes down the pipe! Your toilet is not a trash can


OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (March 24, 2020) – As more people take steps to keep their areas clean, more people are using sanitary wipes to do so but they’re not all disposing of them the way they should be.


The message from Oak Ridge Public Works: Your toilet is not a trash can. That means you should not flush any type of wipe, diapers or training pants, pet litter, paper towels, facial tissues, food, and/or sanitary or hygiene products.


Waste and toilet paper are the only things you should be flushing down the toilet.


Flushing wipes, and other items other than toilet paper, down the toilet can clog laterals, city pipes and pumps. A sewer lateral is the underground pipe that connects a residence or business to a main sewer line.


Fixing a clogged pipe can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money.


The City of Oak Ridge maintains over 30 wastewater lift stations and pumps throughout its more than 200-mile system.


So, when you flush the wrong thing, you could be adding to a bigger issue that can cause sewers to overflow. Items, like wipes, can get trapped and cause damage to equipment in the wastewater treatment plants.