Toilets Aren't Trash Cans

Rockville has a flushing problem. Increasing amounts of unflushable trash are removed from Rockville’s sewer lines each year. These “unflushables” clog Rockville’s sewer lines. They’re one of the top causes of emergency sewer line maintenance calls—which more than quadrupled between FY2018 and FY2019. 

Help the city combat this tidal wave of trash. Don’t flush your trash down the toilet!

unflushable | noun
un·flush·able | \ ən-ˈˈflə-shə-bəl \

1: an item unsuitable for disposal by flushing down a toilet
2: anything other than pee, poop, puke and toilet paper

What Trash is Turning Up in Rockville’s Pipes?

What can be safely flushed down the toilet? Remember the four Ps: pee, poop, puke and (toilet) paper. Everything else is unflushable trash and should not be disposed of in your toilet. This includes (but isn’t limited to):

wipes diapers

"Flushable" Wipes and Diapers


Pads and Tampons


Dental Floss


Cotton Swabs


Bandages and Condoms

cat litter

Cat Litter





Why Should I Care?


Clogs cost you money. 

In Rockville the average cost to unclog a simple toilet blockage runs between $250-$500. More severe clogs further down your line can cause sewage backups that damage your belongings, your property and even your neighbors’ homes, costing considerably more in repairs and replacements (not to mention neighborly goodwill). 

Even if you don’t own your home, a serious sewer backup can destroy your belongings and leave you (temporarily) without use of your, ahem, facilities.

fat grease pipe

Clogs hurt Rockville’s city infrastructure.

Clogs in Rockville’s main sewer lines damage our pipes and require costly repairs to keep sewer service running smoothly throughout the city. And the more time and money the city spends on pipe repairs, the greater the cost to our water and sewer program, potentially leading to higher sewer rates and utility bills.

park sewer leak square

Clogs damage the environment. 

Severe sewer line backups can flow into local streams and waterways, overflow into our parks and streets, and hurt plants and wildlife. 

Sewage overflows can promote harmful algal blooms and introduce disease-causing pathogens in our waterways. While this won’t affect your drinking water supply, it will impact the living conditions for our outdoor friends.

What Can I Do?

The good news is, this is a really easy problem to fix: 

  • Remember the four Ps: pee, poop, puke and toilet paper. If it’s not one of these, it’s trash.
  •  If it’s trash, aim a little to the left or right of the bowl and —ploop— drop it in the trash can, not the toilet.

Looking for More Ways to Protect Your Pipes?

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