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Sewer Maintenance Tips

While residents are encouraged to follow the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to clean surfaces with disinfecting wipes to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is important to discard those items in the trash and not the toilet.

CA Water Boards News Advisory - Avoiding Backups and Blockages during COVID-19


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 end up clogging pipes, tangling pumps and causing 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 blockages. The drains that connect your home to the main sewer are only big enough to carry water, toilet paper and human waste.

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Examples of items NOT to flush or place down the drain at your home:

  • Diapers – cloth, disposable, flushable
  • Facial tissues
  • Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, moist wipes, etc.
  • Toilet bowl scrub pads
  • Swiffers
  • Napkins – paper or cloth, paper towels
  • Dental floss
  • Egg shells, nutshells and coffee grounds
  • Fats, oils, and greases
  • Food items containing seeds and peelings
  • Hair
  • Sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms or any non-organic material
  • Vitamins, medicines or other pharmaceuticals
  • Wash cloths, towels, rags (any cloth item)
  • Clothing
  • Sheet plastic or plastic of any kind

What CAN be flushed?

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The simple answer is ONLY flush toilet paper and human waste. 

If you have questions about what is OK to flush, please call (916) 786-8555.

Tips to avoid sewer issues and back-ups:

  • Avoid purchasing flushable items.
  • Clean with a sponge or a rag that you can reuse.
  • Compost your food waste.
  • Discard hazardous materials such as used motor oil, antifreeze, etc. at the Placer County Household Hazardous Waste Facility - WPWMA.
  • If it can’t be reused, recycled or composted, please place it in the garbage.


What about wet wipes?

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If you must use a “wet wipe” product rather than just toilet paper, dispose of them in the garbage, not down the  toilet. While packaging on some “flushable wipes” says the product will disintegrate like toilet paper, that generally is not accurate and these items can cause messy sewage backups into your home or neighbors’ homes, local businesses or the street.

What happens if I have a blockage?

Please call South Placer Municipal Utility District (SPMUD) first – 916-786-8555.

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