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Protecting our Wastewater Plant

In 2017, the Town of Santa Claus’ Wastewater Treatment Plant processed 195 million gallons.

It was processed from a collection system…a labyrinth consisting of 65 miles of underground pipe, connections, pumps and lift stations.

Toilets are designed to handle human waste and toilet paper.

Putting other items into this system can not only lead to plumbing problems on your property, but also puts a burden on the entire system resulting in increased costs to all users.

That being said, there are some items that are particularly unsuitable for toilet disposal. Here’s a list:

  • Flushable baby wipes and sani-wipes: No matter what’s on the label, “flushable” wipes do not disintegrate in water as quickly as toilet tissue does.
    See this video from Consumer Reports
  • Dental floss: Waxed or unwaxed, dental floss becomes a veritable seine net catching all sorts of debris, clogging toilets and sewer pipes.
  • Kitty litter and dried poop from a litter box: Toilets are designed for water-soluble waste. When cat poop sits in litter, it gets dehydrated and becomes hard as a rock. These “petrified poops” can get lodged in the labyrinth of pipes exiting the toilet and cause a clog.
  • Hair: Hair will never dissolve in water.
  • Condoms: Condoms will clog toilets and septic tanks.
  • Bleach: Bleach is a very harsh chemical that does not belong in sewerage lines or septic systems.
  • Cigarette butts: Cigarette butts belong in the trash, not the toilet.
  • Diapers/sanitary napkins/paper towels: Think about it. These are made to absorb water, not break apart in it.
  • Chewing gum: Chewing gum never dissolves in water.
  • Cotton balls/swabs: These items are not going to dissolve in water.
  • Food: Some may argue that food is biodegradable, and it is. But it can lodge in plumbing and create a stubborn clog while it’s decomposing.
  • Grease: It might be liquid when it enters the pipes, but as soon as grease cools it solidifies and creates one powerful clog.
  • Fish/snakes/little critters: Flushing live animals down the toilet is not only inhumane, it is stupid.
  • Medication/Illegal drugs: Toilet water cannot destroy the active ingredients in medicines or illegal drugs.
    These should be disposed of during Medicine Cabinet Cleanout Days.

Bottom line: The toilet is designed to dispose of human waste. Using it for any other purpose can not only damage your plumbing, it puts a strain on the entire system.

Flush smart!