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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

No wipes down the pipes!

We manage more than a billion gallons of wastewater every day. We know what we’re talking about when it comes to drainage and pipes. We’ve seen clogged pipes and flooded communities. Everything that goes down the pipes of your house or business and the storm drains on your street comes to the MWRD to be cleaned. We want to help ensure that your pipes don’t get clogged and can drain that dirty water away from your house. Treating your toilet like a trash can could clog the plumbing inside your home and cause blockages in your neighborhood sewer. Clogs can cause sewer backups and expensive property damage.

It’s a toilet, not a trash can!

Please do not flush anything other than toilet paper to avoid any potential problems. The following items are NOT FLUSHABLE:

  • Paper Towels
    Paper Towels are meant to absorb water without falling apart. They are durable and will not break down in pipes and can quickly cause a major blockage in your pipes
  • Flushable Wipes
    So-called “flushable” wipes are actually not flushable. They are similar to paper towels and will not break apart. 
  • Disinfectant Wipes
    These are designed to be sturdy and not fall apart when used.
  • Fabric and T-Shirts
    These items will not dissolve or break down in water.

Toilet paper is the ONLY material that is designed to safely move through your home’s pipes without causing major problems. Please don’t use anything else. Make sure that dirty water can get to us to be cleaned and doesn’t end up in your basement or in your neighbors’ basements!

Other DO NOT FLUSH items:

  • Contact Lenses
  • Dental Floss
  • Diapers (this includes related products such as inserts, liners, etc.)
  • Hair
  • Cat Litter
  • Fish
  • Wipes (any kind… yes, including those labeled “flushable” or “biodegradable”)
  • Paper Towels
  • Facial Tissue
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Cosmetics
  • Medication & Vitamins
  • Medical Supplies
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Cleaning Products
  • Food
  • Fats, Oils & Grease
  • Household Hazardous Waste (paint, oil, chemicals, fuel, etc.)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Plastic Items

Remember, no wipes down the pipes!
Press Release