What Not to Flush Down Your Commercial Toilets
Commercial toilets in retail or commercial facilities are sturdy, hardworking plumbing systems that are vital to public health and employee comfort. The same care should be taken with commercial toilets as with residential units, ensuring that non-waste objects and materials are not flushed down commercial plumbing fixtures and into municipal wastewater systems. There are several items that should not be flushed down commercial toilets, even if it does seem like the stronger plumbing system can handle them. Here is a brief explanation of what should and should not go into a commercial plumbing system.
Acceptable Material to Flush Down Commercial Toilets
- Commercial toilets are made for the same purpose as residential toilets: to remove human waste from indoor environments and send that waste into municipal sewers and, from there, into wastewater treatment facilities.
- They are designed to handle only three types of material: solid human waste (feces), liquid human waste (urine), and reasonable amounts of toilet paper that is specially made for use in plumbing systems. If you are ever in doubt about whether something should or should not be flushed down commercial toilets, remember that these three things are the only acceptable material that should be introduced to a toilet system.
What Not to Flush Down Commercial Toilets
Commercial toilets can often be abused by members of the public who flush unacceptable items. Though it’s can be difficult to control what the public does in the privacy of a bathroom, it can be a good idea to post guidelines for what should not be flushed down the toilet. Employees can also be informed by these guidelines, by instruction during training, or through information in employee handbooks. Items that can clog toilets and sewer systems, that can damage pipes or fixtures, that can make wastewater treatment more difficult, or that can create a hazard should not be flushed down commercial toilets.
These items include the following:
- Paper towels or paper napkins.
- Feminine hygiene products, such as pads, panty liners, and tampons.
- Diapers or baby wipes.
- Cotton balls or cotton swabs.
- Razor blades or disposable razors.
- Toothbrushes or dental floss.
- Teeth-whitening strips.
- Facial wipes or antibacterial hand-cleaning wipes.
- Cloth rags or towels.
- Bandages, medical tape, or adhesive bandage strips.
- Syringes, lancets, blood-sugar test strips, or other medical devices.
- Medication, either over-the-counter or prescription type.
- Food, candy, grease, cooking oil, or similar material..
- Wrappers or packaging.
- Condoms, condom wrappers, or other birth control items.
- Make-up pads, sponges, or applicators.
- Empty containers, bottles, bags, or boxes.
Protection for Commercial Toilets
- In addition to posting guidelines covering what not to flush down commercial toilets, provide your customers with appropriate means for disposing of unwanted items.
- Include one or more easily identifiable trash cans in the facility bathroom. Make sure these waste receptacles are emptied regularly and are kept free of odors or objectionable material. Post notices on these trash cans indicating their intended purpose, such as for paper towels only.
- If your commercial bathroom includes facilities for diaper changing, make sure there is a trash can within easy reach of the changing station for disposal of soiled diapers and cleanup material.
- Provide special containers or facilities for disposal of feminine hygiene products or for items that could be considered a biohazard, such as objects contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids. Remember, in all cases, the easier you make it for your customers or employees to properly dispose of unwanted items, the more likely it will be that they will put them where they’re supposed to go and not try to flush those items down the toilet.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on how to keep the commercial toilets in your facility working properly, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!