only flush the 3ps graphic

What Not to Flush

What Can I Flush Down the Toilet?

Just because something can be flushed down the toilet, does not mean it should be. Toilet paper is specifically designed to break down in the water. Although paper towels, napkins, and facial tissue appear to be of the same material, they do not disintegrate in water the way toilet paper does. Any items flushed other than toilet paper can create costly clogs in your home pipes, our community sewer pipes, and our water reclamation facilities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to only flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash.

DO NOT Flush These Items Down the Toilet:

Not only do clogs affect our pipes, but they can affect yours, potentially causing a basement backup and an expensive phone call to your plumber. If wipes get stuck in your home lateral pipe, a clog could cost you thousands to fix. A lateral is a pipe that transports water used inside your home out to your city's sanitary sewer system in the street. 

A report from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) explores the costs associated with clogs caused by wipes.

flushable wipes caught in a pipe

A clog like this at our Port Washington Road Pumping Station costs thousands of dollars to remove. 


greasy oil in pan

What Can I Pour Down My Drain?

Dispose of all fats, oils, and grease in the garbage. This includes butter, cooking oils, fry oil, oils, and grease left from cooking meats and/or anything else that gels or solidifies at room temperature. While these will go down the drain or toilet when warm or with soap, but as they cool or mix with water they solidify in your pipes creating a clog that is very messy and difficult to remove.

Never pour or flush hard chemicals, paint, oil, pesticides, cement, plaster, medications, or more than the recommended amount of drain cleaner down your drains.


What to do with Household Chemicals, Paints, Cleaners, and Other Hazardous Waste?

Milwaukee County Residents can drop them off at one of Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's Home Hazmat Collection sites. Learn more about what items you can drop off.

Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off