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Wipes Clog Pipes: During COVID-19 crisis and every day, prevent sewage overflows by flushing only the 3Ps

News article

Environmental Services reminds the public to only flush the 3Ps – toilet paper, pee, and poo. Any other material – such as cleaning wipes, “flushable” wipes, and paper towels – can cause clogs and sewer overflows that further impact public health and our environment.

Published
Graphic: Wipes clog pipes. Avoid sewer backups and protect your pipes! Dispose of these items in the trash, not the toilet: Disinfecting wipes, baby wipes, towelettes, paper towels, facial tissues.
Learn more about what NOT to flush

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Toilet paper breaks down quickly in water. Other materials remain intact. In fact, wipes are a leading cause of sewage overflows and costly clogs to City pipes and pump stations. Another leading cause is fats, oils, and grease poured down sink drains.

As more people stay home and correctly follow public health official guidelines, Environmental Services offers this advice to prevent the most common causes of sewage backups and overflows:

  • Prevent wipes from clogging pipes. Only flush the 3Ps: pee, poo and toilet paper. Other materials belong in the trash, not the toilet. For more tips, go to  www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/WhatNotToFlush
  • Prevent fats, oils, and grease from clogging sink drains and sewer pipes. Pour unused cooking oil and other grease into cans, let cool (it will turn from a liquid into a solid), and place in the trash. For more tips, go to www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/FatFreePipes

If you experience a clogged pipe in your home, call a plumber. If you experience or see a sewer overflow, call the City of Portland’s 24/7 hotline: 503-823-1700.