Did You Know?

If all U.S. households practiced water conservation measures and installed water saving features such as low-flow shower heads or faucet aerators, water use could decrease by 30 percent - saving an estimated 5.4 billion gallons per day.

Read more helpful water use facts below:

Did You Know?

  • The average family of four uses 255 gallons of water a day, 1,785 gallons a week, and 7,650 gallons per month.
  • A single toilet flush uses approximately 5-7 gallons of water.
  • Taking a shower will use approximately 5-10 gallons per minute. A 15-minute shower will use 75-150 gallons.
  • Your kitchen or bathroom sink uses approximately 4-5 gallons a minute.
  • One dishwasher load uses approximately 4-5 gallons a minute.
  • Washing clothes uses approximately 35 gallons per load. 

What Not to Flush

Your sewer system is designed to handle only two things: human waste and toilet paper. Everything else that ends up in the sewer can cause serious problems such as sewage spills, sewer back-ups and costly damage to wastewater treatment equipment.

Your wastewater treatment plant is a biological treatment system. Certain chemicals can affect the biological activity and cause interruption in service and possibly shut down the operation of the wastewater treatment plant.

Below is a list of the items that you should never flush down the toilet or pour down a drain:

  • "FOGs"
    • Fats, oils and greases. These include everything from bacon grease to motor oil. Grease hardens in the pipes to cause serious blockages.
  • Plastic, latex and rubber items 
    • Condoms, tampon applicators and latex gloves
    • Toys and balloons
  • Medical Items      
    • Medications, vitamins, needles, bandages and gauze
  • Paper products
    • Paper towels, personal or cleaning wipes, facial tissue, pads or tampons, toilet seat covers and diapers
  • Food items
    • Meat, vegetable and other food scraps
  • Plastic, latex and rubber items 
    • Condoms, tampon applicators and latex gloves
    • Toys and balloons
  • Medical Items      
    • Medications, vitamins, needles, bandages and gauze
  • Food items
    • Meat, vegetable and other food scraps
  • Personal items
    • Cosmetics, dental floss, cotton balls and swabs
    • Jewelry
  • Household items and refuse
    •  Hair, cigarette butts, cloth, drinking straws and string
  • Harsh chemicals
    • Strong cleaning products
    • Paints and varnishes
    • Solvents
  • Toilet bowl scrubbing pads

Common Myths About Sewage

Below are some common myths about sewage.

Myth: The sewer system is separate from the other drains in my house.
Fact: Your toilet, sinks, shower, dishwasher and washing machine are all connected to the same sewer system.

Myth: If the package says an item is “flushable”, then it must be safe for the sewer system.
Fact: Nearly all of the items that are marketed as “flushable” are anything but. With the exception of toilet paper, there are no other “flushable” paper products. This means that tampons, cleaning wipes of any kind, toilet bowl scrubbers and other such items should never be flushed.

Myth: It is perfectly safe to put food scraps down the garbage disposal. 
Fact: Not even shredded vegetables should go down the drain. Some sewer lines are only 4 inches wide and can easily be clogged by food waste. It is a much better idea to compost or put the food waste into the garbage.

Myth: It is okay to pour cooking grease down the drain as long as hot water is poured down after it.
Fact: Grease sticks to the sides of pipes and creates a thick coating that will eventually block the pipe completely. This can happen to the pipes in your home or to the sewer pipes further down the line. When sewer lines are blocked, sewage can back up into homes or overflow into receiving bodies of water such as creeks, rivers and lakes. Products that claim to dissolve grease only push the problem further down the pipe. A grease buildup might be temporarily dislodged, but it will get stuck further down the line when it hardens.

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