What not to flush

To avoid costly plumbing repairs and wider problems affecting public sanitary sewer systems and the environment, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) today is reminding residents to toss away trash, not flush it down the toilet. Blocked drains and sewers can lead to severe consequences such as manhole overflowing, flooding in our homes and on our roadways, and pollution of watercourses. 

“To avoid the spread of COVID-19 many of us are using more cleaning wipes on our hands and hard surfaces. And a shortage of toilet paper may tempt some residents to use and flush tissues, paper towels or baby wipes down the toilet. Despite what some packaging might say, these items are not flushable and can result in serious toilet clogs and damage to sanitary sewer systems,” said Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Carrie Zalewski. “Please toss them in the trash. Don’t attempt to flush them away.”

Here is a list of items that should never be flushed down your drains:

  • Cleaning and baby wipes – even those labeled flushable!
  • Paper towels
  • Bandages
  • Cleaning brush refills
  • Cotton balls
  • Diapers
  • Dental floss
  • Engine oil, chemicals, and paints
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Food waste
  • Grease (Fats and Oils)
  • Latex materials
  • Medicine
  • Q-tips
  • Razor blades
  • Toilet seat covers

Additionally, chemicals, medicines, household cleaners and disinfectants can travel through sewers and wastewater treatment facilities causing harm to aquatic and marine life when discharged into our streams, rivers, and oceans. For more information visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website at https://www.fda.gov/consumers

For additional information about what the ICC is doing in response to COVID -19 visit https://www.icc.illinois.gov/home/covid-19.