Important Reminder: Think Before You Flush

Posted on February 8, 2017

Avoid Drain Pain – Don’t Flush These Things

Just because the package says flushable doesn’t mean it’s true.  Many items marketed as disposable and/or flushable do not degrade like toilet paper, and they wind up clogging pipes, get stuck in pumps, and cause messy sewer backups into streets, businesses, and homes.

Our sewers are designed to dispose of very specific things.  Using your toilet for disposal of many modern products can result in pipe blockages.

How can you help?

We can all help maintain Montgomery Township’s wastewater infrastructure by adopting a few simple practices:

Please do not flush:

  • Rags
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Cleaning/Baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Paper towels
  • Dental floss
  • Cotton balls/Q-tips
  • Used bandages
  • Articles of clothing/bedding
  • Toys
  • Leftover foods/sauces
  • Toothbrushes

Please do not pour down drains:

  • Household/gardening chemicals
  • Grease – All used cooking oils, and leftover sauces and gravies (allow to cool and solidify, then scrape out and dispose of in your trash can or allow to cool, then pour into a non-recyclable container and dispose of in your trash can)
  • Leftover cleaners/solvents
  • Paint
  • Engine oil

Our sewer system is not designed to collect trash. Human waste and toilet tissue are the only products the wastewater system was designed to handle. As a ratepayer in Montgomery Township this affects you because continued use of our sewer system for trash disposal contributes to system failures and increased operation and maintenance costs.

Montgomery Township Code 12-6.3 m. (below) prohibits these wastes from being disposed of in the sanitary sewer lines and are subject to $1,000 fines:

12-6.3        Prohibited Wastes.

No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any storm water or other liquid conveyed through a storm sewer, surface water, ground water, roof runoff, subsurface drainage, discharge from a sump pump, cooling water or unpolluted industrial process water into the municipal sewer system. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person shall discharge or cause to be discharged any of the following described wastes or waters into the municipal sewer system:

  1. Any ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, bones, feathers, tar, plastic, wood, paunch, manure, butchers offal or any other solid or viscous substance which shall be capable of causing obstructions to the flow in any sewer or other interference with the proper operation of the sewer system or the treatment works;

With everyone’s help the Montgomery Township can limit the number of sewer overflows and back-ups due to blockages in the system thereby eliminating the need for costly clean-ups and possible contamination of our waterways and endangerment of public health.

If you would like more information, please contact the Montgomery Township Director of Wastewater Operations, Jason Kiernan, at jkiernan@twp.montgomery.nj.us.