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Fresno, CA 93706
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Get to know the Unflushables

We’ve got some news about the products you use daily: just because they’re labeled disposable doesn’t mean they’re flushable.

From cotton swabs to feminine products to wet wipes, many products labeled “flushable” belong in the trash. Otherwise, they can block our sewer system and cause backups that lead to costly cleanups and repairs.

The only thing that should be flushed down the toilet, besides human waste, is toilet paper!


The following products are commonly flushed down the toilet and wind up in our sewer system. But flushing these so-called “flushable” products can clog pipes, break pumps and cause sanitary sewer overflows — which lead to thousands of dollars in repairs:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Dental floss
  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • Cat litter
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Paper towels
  • Diapers
  • Wipes


Here’s the full list of products you can flush:

  • Toilet paper

It’s that easy!


Toilet paper is a truly "flushable" product because it’s created to break down when wet. Unlike other products such as cotton swabs, tissues or contraceptives, toilet paper is the only item that can properly disintegrate in our sewer system.

That’s because toilets and the sewer lines they are connected to are designed for toilet paper and human waste — that’s it! Any other items clog pipes, catch on tree roots in the line or get caught in the pumps that move wastewater from homes to the wastewater treatment facility. The City already spends thousands of dollars annually to remove debris from pipes, and the introduction of “flushable” items has only made it more
challenging. So help keep utility rates low by remembering one simple rule: If it’s not toilet paper, don’t flush it!


A sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is any overflow, spill release, discharge or diversion of untreated wastewater from a sanitary sewer system. This can be caused by non-flushable items being flushed and eventually causing blockages and sewer backups. SSOs cost thousands of dollars in resources and time to repair. So every time residents flush an item that’s not toilet paper or human waste, it costs the City $___ to repair!

While the average number of sanitary sewer overflows in Fresno is small compared to the average number of statewide SSOs, it’s still important to remember that if it’s not toilet paper, don’t flush it.