Plumbing Etiquette

Dear Homeowners,

Please note that our main plumbing pipes are 60 years old and foreign objects included, but not limited to the list below, are prohibited from being flushed down the toilets or washed down the sinks.

We should all be aware that what goes down our toilets will not only affect us but also our neighbors when living in a multi unit building.

Please be responsible with what you are putting down the sinks and toilets. Not only does it harm the environment but it also ends up causing inconveniences to many people other than just yourself.

If it is determined that a blockage or spillage was caused by a prohibited item flushed down the toilet or sink, the owner will be responsible for reimbursing the Association for the cost of the plumbing service and any sewage clean up costs.

Please familiarize yourself with the below list.  Owners have the obligation to pass this information on to their tenant.

What NOT to Flush Down the Toilet
1. Feminine Products
Tampons and other feminine hygiene products are not supposed to be flushed down the toilet.

2. Cooking Grease/Food

Grease should never be poured down any drain, period. It may look like a liquid that can easily be dumped down a drain, but when it cools, it will congeal and clog up your pipes. Collect your grease in a glass jar and throw it in the trash, or save the grease and reuse it, especially bacon grease.  

3. Baby Wipes/Wet Wipes/Cleaning Pads

These “adult baby wipes” are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. They are also increasingly causing clogs and backups in sewage pipes across the country. Although some of these brands might say they are flush-able on the box, there are groups that are revising the guidelines, so soon all wet wipes will have a noticeable DO NOT FLUSH symbol on the packaging. If you must use these, throw them away in the trash can.

4. Dental Floss

Floss is not biodegradable and can cause serious clogs and environmental damage.

5. Q-tips/Cotton Balls

You might think that cotton will break down, since some toilet paper is made from cotton linen, but they don’t! They will clump together, causing stoppages at bends in the pipes.

6. Diapers

Just because there is human waste inside does not mean that they are OK to flush. Diapers are made to expand in water. In the unlikely case you actually get the diaper to flush, it will likely get caught in the U-bend of the pipe.

7. Pills
You may think it is a good idea to put pills out of harm’s way, but you are probably doing more harm than good by flushing them. They have toxic effects on groundwater supplies and wildlife. There are many community-based “take back you meds programs.”  The Tiburon police station, CVS and the Strawberry Safeway also accept pills for disposal.

8. Paper Towels/Tissues
If you really want to save money and help the environment, you will use washable cloths and rags, but if you have to use paper towels, throw them in the trash, not the toilet. Tissues and paper towels are not made to dissolve like toilet paper; throw them in the trash.

Best Regards,    

Lisa Eisenberg, CCAM-PM
Senior Community Association Manager
Eugene Burger Management Corporation