NACWA's Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign is focused on protecting the pipes, pumps, plants, and personnel of wastewater utilities across the nation by reducing the materials that are inappropriately flushed or drained into the sewer system.
Products such as wipes, paper towels and feminine hygiene products should not be flushed, but often are, causing problems for utilities that amount to billions of dollars in maintenance and repair costs—costs which ultimately pass on to the consumer. Other consumer products contain ingredients, such as plastic microbeads and triclosan, which may harm water quality and the environment. Fats, oils and greases (FOG) and unused pharmaceuticals should also be kept out of the sewer system.
NACWA is working collaboratively with other groups to find common ground and safe solutions for both utilities and the environment. The Association is advocating for the elimination of harmful products and ingredients whenever possible, and for public education about safe and proper disposal practices.
NACWA is a member of the International Water Services Flushability Group (IWSFG), a group of water associations, utilities, and professionals seeking to protect wastewater systems by providing clear guidance on what should and should not be flushed. The IWSFG has released a Flushability Specification that may be used to evaluate whether a product can be considered flushable or not.