LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We know there's a lot you just don't flush down the toilet, but you'd be surprised what actually ends up in the pipes here in Metro Louisville.  So, the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD)  wanted to teach everyone a valuable lesson on what you can... and can't... flush.

Claude Rottet, a Collections Supervisor fro MSD, says they get a little bit of everything down the pipes. But, one thing he mentions a lot is "flushable" wipes. "Flushable means it will make it through your household plumbing.  Once they get into the sewer system, they don't degrade, they don't break down."

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Flushable wipes take lots of time to clear from the pumps.  They lead to lots of issues with equipment, and when things break, MSD customers end up paying for it in their bills. 

Rottet also mentioned that the most dangerous thing they have been seeing more of is syringes. "You can't just reach up into the pumps and clean these things out.  We're having to use snips to cut them, pliers to pull stuff out. That's becoming pretty common."

He added that everyone at the facility gets a hepatitis shot just for that reason.

Other random items that employees say show up at the facility are toys, women's underwear, paper towels, clothing (pants and jackets), and money. Rottet says he once found a $20, sanitized it, dried it off and spent it.  He also says they find singles far more often.  

"So, don't put money in your mouth cause it could have been in the sewer," he said with a chuckle.

To make things easier if you and the people down the line, just remember to stick to the three ps (Pee, Poo and toilet paper).

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Other ways you can help our waterways according to MSD:

  • Delay using washing machines and dishwashers during peak rain events—they can fill up the sanitary sewers and contribute to sewer overflows
  • Dispose of fats, oils, grease and food scraps in the trash to prevent clogs in your sewer line and backups into your home (see a list of companies that will haul away your FOG)
  • Put diapers, floss, feminine-hygiene products, paper towels, waste from garbage disposals in the trash, not down your drain
  • Never flush "flushable" wipes—wipes do not break down quickly, even if their labels read “flushable.” They can cause problems for plumbing systems and lead to sewer backups in your home and MSD facilities
  • Disconnect your sump pumps from the sewer system
  • Do not flush medications. These substances are bad for our environment. The wastewater treatment process does not remove the substances contained in them, so they end up back in our waterways. Dispose of your medications at: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, 531 Court Place, Suite 600, M-F, 8 am to 4 pm, or St. Matthews Police Department, 3940 Grandview Avenue, M-F, 8 am to 4 pm.

MORE RESOURCES:

How Does Your Toilet and Home Plumbing Work?

Why Do We Need a Wastewater Collections System?

How Does a Wastewater Collection System Work?

Components of a Wastewater Collection System

Manholes

Maintaining a Wastewater Collection System

Inflow & Infiltration

How Does Wastewater Treatment Work?