Toilets are NOT Rubbish Bins - what should NOT be flushed down the toilet

The following items should NOT be flushed down a toilet
Baby WipesNappiesFace Wipes
J ClothsRagsCotton Wool
Cotton BudsMedicinesSanitary Towels
blocked _pump
Photograph 1 Rags being manually
removed from a sewer pump

Toilets, septic tanks, main public sewers and waste water treatment plants are constructed only to deal with organic body waste and toilet paper. Flushing away larger items like those listed above can cause blockages within the plumbing of the house, interfere with the performance of a septic tank and will block the sewer network and reduce the treatment capacity of waste water treatment plants.

Wipes and products listed above, over time, can build up into clumps within the sewer and like a snow ball effect, will build in size and eventually block the sewer pipe. This in turn can cause sewage to backup behind the blockage and back up manholes resulting in overflows and flooding.

In most sewer networks, pumps operate to ensure sewage reaches the treatment plants. Pumps across the county are frequently being blocked with wipes and rags. When this occurs, the pump has to be taken from the system and the wipes removed manually before the pump can be placed back into the sewer network. A blocked pump can result in a sewerage spill to the environment and possibly to groundwater or to a watercourse.

To illustrate the effects of the problems caused by wipes and other products, Water Services Section of Kilkenny County Council have released the following photographs which illustrate the types of blockages that occur. The public are urged not to discard unsuitable items down the toilet.

blockage pumping station
Photograph 2 Rags caught in a blocked
screen of a waste water treatment plant


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