Down the Drain: Yes, to the 3 Ps

Flushing the wrong things down your drain can cause harm to the sewer system, require costly fixes, or even harm water quality locally.

OWASA customers are encouraged to help protect the integrity of our local water and wastewater infrastructure by saying yes to the three Ps: Pee, poo, and toilet paper.

Many wipes are now being marketed as “flushable,” when in fact they do not break down in the wastewater system the same way that toilet paper does. When using these wipes, even if they are labeled as “flushable,” customers should dispose of them in the trash.

Other items, including feminine products and disposable diapers, expand and absorb water and can be difficult to move through wastewater pipes. Once again, the items should be disposed of in your household garbage.

Cooking can also lead to waste that is harmful to the community’s wastewater infrastructure. Fats, oils, and greases can coat the inside of sewer or plumbing drains, harden to a plaster-like consistency, and block the flow of water.

Another clogging culprit, which might be unexpected, is dental floss; it can wrap around and connect with anything moving through the wastewater pipes, causing a clog in the system. Sand, hair, kitty litter, condoms, and cotton balls are a few other household items that are best left out of the sewer system.

Customers can email with any questions.