No Wipes Down Pipes

Wipes, cloths and rags are being found in sanitary sewers at an ever increasing rate. Many of these products are labeled as flushable but while they may clear the toilet, they will most likely cause problems downstream. And while a toilet may be capable of flushing golf balls, these synthetic products simply do not break down and will have to be removed at the treatment plant or in pumping stations. These products are blocking private sewer laterals, public sewer mains and binding up municipal pumps. Items that specifically list the term flushable (but should not be flushed) include:

  • Baby Wipes
  • Cat Litter
  • Diaper Liners
  • Diapers
  • Doggy Doo-Doo Bags
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Pre-Moistened Wipes
  • Toilet Seat Covers
  • Wide Variety of Bathroom Cleaning Wipes and Brushes

Other products have been found to clog pipes and pumps after being flushed include Q-tips, dental floss, paper towels and rags. Alternatively, please place all these items in a trash can.


The Village of La Grange Park is not the only community impacted by these so-called flushable wipes. From private septic systems to major metropolitan areas, flushable products are causing plugged pipes, sewage backups and increasing costs of equipment maintenance. View the impact of flushable baby wipes. Or view New York City’s dilemma with the water sewer system, Should you flush that wipe?

Will it Flush?

The Water Environment Federation put different items to the test and found that even “flushable” wipes don’t break down when flushed. The results of the experiment showed how things like facial tissue, dental floss, Q-tips and feminine hygiene products don’t belong in a toilet. A simple solution is to keep a trash can in your bathroom for item disposal. Items not to flush:

  • Automotive fluids
  • Bandages and bandage wrappings
  • Cigarette butts
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Condoms
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Dental floss
  • Disposable diapers
  • Facial tissue
  • Grease and cooking oils
  • Hair
  • Medications
  • Mini or maxi pads
  • Paper towels
  • Poisons and other hazardous waste
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Tampons and tampon applicators

Bottom line: To avoid future plumbing problems, remember what the experts have been saying all along, only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet.