Special COVID-19 Note:
Due to the recent short supply of toilet paper, many people have resorted to using alternative methods as they run out of toilet paper. Some of these methods include using baby wipes, flushable wipes, paper towels, facial tissue, strips of rags or socks. While these items may appear flush easily, they will cause blockages in pipes. These blockages can occur anywhere from your home or apartment's pipes, through the pipes owned by the city or the pipes at the wastewater treatment facility. In any of these situations, blockages at any point in the process will affect you. Our member communities have reported a drastic increase in these blockages occuring in municipal wastewater lines. They can cause a sanitary sewer overflow into your home (or apartment), somewhere along the line of pipes throughout the city, or at the treatment facility. Blockages and backups can affect your wallet, as more employees will have to work overtime to fix the problem and repair equipment - and they will charge you through taxes, water bills. These situations are avoidable! You can do you part by doing the following:
- Become more efficient with the toilet paper supply you have
- Trash any toilet paper alternatives after use, rather then flushing them
- Consider using a bidet
Trash It Don't Flush It.
Your toilet isn't a trash can, don't treat it like one.
Wipes, cleaning cloths, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and personal care items—these common household items don't break down in the sewer pipes of your home or on the way to the wastewater treatment plant. So what happens when you flush them down the toilet or drain? Since they don't break down, they can tangle and clump together. This can clog pipes and cause sewage to back up into your home or neighborhood. Even items labeled "flushable" can clog sewer pipes. Defend your drains by disposing of these products in the trash (where they belong) before they cause unpleasant and expensive problems.
Wipes and cleaning cloths are designed to be stronger than facial tissue or toilet tissue, so they don't break down in water.Learn More
Paper towels are designed to be strong, and specifically to not break down in water. They are not intended to be flushed.Learn More
Feminine hygiene products, such as sanitary napkins and tampons, are designed to absorb liquids instead of breaking down.Learn More
Dispose Responsibly Prevent Plumbing Problems.
Protect the quality of our water.
Medicines. Large amounts of cleaning products. Paint and pesticides. Fats, oils, and grease. While all these things shouldn't go down the drain, they also shouldn't be put in the trash. Why? Some of these products can pose a hazard to water quality, and others can be turned into something beneficial. Defend your drains by disposing of these products as described to help prevent plumbing problems and to protect the quality of our lakes, rivers, and streams.
Fats, Oils, Grease
Fats, oils, and grease will harden and cling to the insides of your pipes or the city sewer lines. This could cause a sewer backup in either your home or neighborhood.Learn More
If you put medicines such as prescription pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter medications down the drain or in the toilet, they can end up in our water supply.Learn More
While it's OK for small amounts of household chemicals to go down the drain, large amounts of these chemicals should not go down the drain.Learn More
How can you prevent sewer back ups?
Easy steps to Defend Your Drains
By practicing these three simple actions, you can prevent grease clogs and help protect our water quality.
1. Wipe pans and plates into the trash before washing.
Use a paper towel to wipe greasy pots, pans, and plates before placing them in the dish washer or washing them in the sink. When you do hand wash greasy kitchen ware, be sure to use COLD water so that even the small amounts of fats, oils, or grease don't get a chance to cling to pipes before hardening.
2. Take advantage of local drop-off facilities
You can collect your used cooking oil in a sealable container with a screw top lid and then take it to one of the regional drop-off locations so we can collect and recycle the used cooking oil.
It's a win-win!
3. Remember the 3 Ps.
The toilet should only be used for three things; Pee, Poop, and toilet Paper.
Wipes - even "flushable" wipes - belong in the trash and should not be flushed down your toilet.
About Defend Your Drains North Texas
The Defend Your Drains North Texas campaign is an educational effort that encourages residents to properly dispose of items that can harm a home's plumbing system, the region's wastewater treatment systems, and water quality. It is supported by the Wastewater And Treatment Education Roundtable (WATER), an educational partnership between the North Central Texas Council of Governments, municipalities, and water utilities in the North Texas region. Special thanks to Dallas Water Utilities for sharing the Defend Your Drains campaign with the North Texas region.