City Asks for Cooperation on Flushing and Rinsing

Tue, March 13, 2018

The City of Prince Rupert Operations Department is asking for your cooperation with respect to the items you dispose of in your sanitary sewers.  Sanitary sewers are connected to your sinks, dishwasher, washing machine, showers, tubs, floor drains and toilets. Residential sanitary sewer lines join at your property line to the City’s system.  The municipal sewer functions by using pumping systems, which are difficult and costly to maintain.  When sewer lines become clogged, it can cause back-ups of sewage in the sanitary system, and potentially in residences.  It is critical to maintain clear sanitary and sewer lines for public health and safety and to prevent significant damage to City infrastructure, and potentially to your home. 


See below for an informational video providing guidelines for flushing and rinsing, or see the written guidelines below. 



It is your responsibility to ensure that your household disposes of waste items properly.  When non-flushable items enter the sanitary sewer, they may disappear from sight but they can and do end up causing obstructions to sanitary and sewer lines on both private and municipal property.


Your Responsibilities


DO NOT dispose of or flush the following items into your sanitary sewers:


  • Fats, oils and grease (FOG)
  • Dental Floss
  • Food Waste
  • Hair
  • Paper Towels and Rags
  • Disposable cleaning products
  • Q-tips and Cotton Balls
  • Facial Tissues (ie. Kleenex)
  • Condoms
  • Band-Aids
  • Disposable Wipes (wet ones/baby wipes)
  • Diapers
  • Kitty Litter
  • Tampons, tampon applicators, sanitary napkins and liners
  • Hopes and dreams



What can be flushed?

Three things - number one, number two and toilet paper!


Do not pour fats, oils and grease down the drain.

Fats, oils and grease will harden and stick to the sewer pipes.  This could cause a sewer backup to your property.  This may not cause an immediate problem, but will build up over the long term.   Running hot water at the same time will not stop fats, oils and grease from sticking to the pipes.


Let fats, oils and grease begin to harden and then use a paper towel to wipe off your kitchen item and dispose of the paper towel in your garbage can.


Where do fats, oils and grease (FOG) come from?

The most common sources of household FOG are:

  • Cooked meats and other food scraps
  • Sauces, gravies and salad dressing
  • Dairy products (milk, cream, yogurt, etc.)
  • Fats, lards, cooking oil, shortening, butter and margarine
  • Cosmetics and toiletries (makeup, lotions and oils)
  • Do not dispose of  paper/cloth-like cleaning products
  • These include disinfectant wipes, paper towel, Swiffer inserts or toilet bowl scrub pads.


These items belong in the garbage.


Do not use a garburator

While garburators are very handy they put a strain on our system. 


Dispose of these items into your household garbage can or in your residential compost. Many items that would be disposed of in a garburator can also go into a compost.


Use a strainer for your sink, tub and shower drains

Strainers are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes and types.  They will keep food, hair and other items from going down your drain.


Place all items that the strainer has collected into your garbage container.


Do not flush personal hygiene items

These items, including but not limited to Band-Aids, condoms, cotton swabs, disposable towels, Kleenex, makeup wipes, paper towel, sanitary napkins, tampons, wet wipes and any other  non-organic material all belong in the garbage.  Fun fact— condoms will actually cause similar issues to fats, oil & grease, as they are not biodegradable. If they  aren’t tied off, the condom can fill with water and become lodged in the pipe. 


All the above belong in your garbage container.