Flushable Wipes

Flush it and forget it???
Not exactly…

Some things just shouldn’t be tossed in the toilet.  Recent media reports described how “flushable” wipes caused costly clogging of Portland’s wastewater treatment system.  They’re unnecessarily plugging the pumps in Falmouth too.  Lately, crews sometimes need to clean 2 to 4 pumps each week.
Here’s what you shouldn’t toss down the drain:

  • Cooking grease and oil will congeal and build up to plug pipes causing backups.  Grease buildup also occurs at pumping stations and can cause failures of the pump control systems and plugging.  Residents should dispose of small amounts of fat, oil, and grease in a sealed container with household trash.
  • Unused medications and pharmaceuticals, pesticides and herbicides, and other toxic wastes can poison Casco Bay because some components are not broken down in the biological treatment process.  Unused medications and personal care products can go in the trash, household hazardous or toxic waste should be saved for ‘household hazardous waste collection’ day.
  • Flammable substances or petroleum wastes could catch fire or explode.  Most can be recycled at the Town transfer station
  • Cloth and cloth-like wipes and dental floss build up and eventually clog pumps and equipment creating backups and possibly overflows.  Dispose of these materials in your trash.
  • Plastic materials and other solid objects can plug up the system.  Again, these should go in the trash.

Contact Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility at 781-4462 if you have questions about a particular waste product.