Your toilet is not a trash can!

For several years now, Renewable Water Resources has been a major proponent of Be Fresh Water Friendly’s Potty Protocol. The main focus is trying to convey what people should and should not flush. We have not been alone in this effort. Wastewater officials across the nation are trying to educate the public on how flushing these items can cause blockages in the lines. Several agencies have invested in educational campaigns whose goal is to inform their local communities that the toilet is not a trash can, and items claiming to be flushable should not always be flushed as they could cause expensive and potentially dangerous blockages.

Earlier this week, NACWA, which is the national organization we belong to and support, reached a major milestone in its campaign to raise awareness of its Toilets Are Not Trashcans campaign with the publication of the Second Edition of Code of Practice: Communicating Appropriate Disposal Pathways for Nonwoven Wipes to Protect Wastewater Systems.

This new COP specifies how the “Do Not Flush” logo should be used on wipes that are not designed to be flushed.  The major improvements made to the COP include larger sizes for the “Do Not Flush” logos and placement of the logo in a location that is “reasonably visible near the point where individual wipes are taken out of the container holding and dispensing the wipes.” In addition, the consumer must be able to see the logo without opening the package and the logo should not be obscured by packaging seals or folds.

The new COP applies to non-flushable wipes, but the definition of “flushable” has still not been agreed upon by the wastewater and wipes associations.  The COP specifies that baby wipes should never be labeled “flushable,” allowing a clear “Don’t flush baby wipes” message to be delivered to consumers by both the wastewater and wipes industries.

Although the new COP is a significant improvement over the first edition, it is still voluntary.