Do Not Flush

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What not to flush

Sanitary sewers are underground pipes that carry wastewater from homes and businesses to one of the Town’s two wastewater treatment plants where it is treated and then released back to the lake. Everything you pour down your drains or flush down your toilet goes into a sewer.

Everyday items like hygiene products, wipes and waste products, should not be flushed or poured down the sewer system because of the many negative effects they have on the Town’s infrastructure and more importantly our natural environment.

To help keep the entire sewage system working well, please do not flush or put the following products down the drain:  

  • Hygiene products
    • Condoms
    • Cosmetics
    • Cotton swabs
    • Dental floss
    • Diapers (baby or adult)
    • Facial tissue
    • Hair dye
    • Hydrogen peroxide
    • Nail polish or remover
    • Paper towels
    • Perfume and cologne
    • Tampons, sanitary pads
    • Waxes
    • Wipes/baby wipes – even those that say flushable can cause a problem  
  • Clothing and towels
  • Fats, oils, grease
  • Household hazardous waste – such as paints, pesticides and many cleaning products
  • Pharmaceuticals

Wipes Block Pipes

Wipes labelled and marketed as "flushable" should not be flushed down the toilet. These wipes cause a range of problems in your home plumbing, the Town’s sewer system and also at the wastewater treatment plant. These so called “flushable” wipes do not break down, but clump together to cause blockages and backups.

Fat, oil and grease (FOG)

What happens when you put fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the sink or toilet? When they cool, they form blockages. FOG clogged pipes cause big problems. They can lead to basement flooding and sewage overflows onto streets and surrounding areas. These clogs can also damage your local wastewater facility and your water rates may go up to cover repairs.

Household hazardous waste

Many items used for general cleaning, home maintenance, gardening and automobile care can be dangerous if poured down our drains. These items contain toxic ingredients and should be used and disposed of with caution. Visit the York Region Household Hazardous Waste Depot for more information on how to properly dispose of these materials. 

Pharmaceuticals

Did you know that traces of pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment, primarily in water (surface water, groundwater, and drinking water) and soil? Don’t dump pharmaceuticals down the toilet. Visit the York Region Household Hazardous Waste Depot for more information on how to properly dispose of these materials. 

Visit york.ca to view videos and learn more.