The Unflushables

Prevent problems in the pipes - know where your wastewater goes

Help keep your household plumbing and our wastewater treatment plant working properly.  Please don't use toilets, sinks or storm drains to dispose of garbage.

  • The only items that should be flushed are human waste and toilet paper.   Toilet paper is designed to decompose and quickly breaks down in water.
  • It is equally important to pay attention to what you are disposing of in your sinks and tub.  Even a dishwasher or washing machine can be a source of costly sewer back-ups.  Follow manufacturers' directions and do not exceed the recommended amounts of soap.
  • Unlike the sanitary sewer system, water entering storm sewers is not treated and drains directly into areas along Beaver Creek, the McLeod and Athabasca Rivers.  Contaminated water can kill fish and other wildlife, as well as pollute areas next to these bodies of water.

It may say flushable - but don't flush it!

Disposable wipes may be labeled "flushable" but they don't break down in the sewer system and can get clogged in your household plumbing.  If wipes make it to the collection system in your neighbourhood, they can back up sewer collection lines and clog pump stations.

Help make our sewer system fat free!

Grease tends to harden and cause other items to get stuck, creating clogs.  Fats also tend to cling to the sides of pipes and create a build-up over time, which eventually leads to a large blockage.

  • Store it - pour grease/oil/fat into a can or glass jar with a lid and store until full; then dispose with your garbage.
  • Wipe residual grease from dishes, pots and pans with disposable paper towel prior to washing the dishes.

The Unflushables

The following items should NOT be disposed of in your toilet or sinks or storm water drains:

  • fats, oils and grease
  • chemicals, oils and paints
  • wipes - disposable and disinfecting wipes - including "flushable"
  • bandages and wraps
  • sanitary products
  • condoms
  • extinguished cigarettes
  • cotton balls, pads and swabs
  • dental floss
  • hair
  •  paper towels and napkins
  • disposable diapers and baby wipes
  • disposable toilet brushes and cleaning sponges
  • medications (you may drop off unused or expired medications at your local pharmacy for proper disposal)
  • coffee grinds, egg shells, and food
  • cat litter


For more tips on how you can prevent a sewer backup, read through the "Guide to Sewer Backups" information brochure.