Do not flush paper towels, wipes or facial tissues—they clog your pipes and our pumps!

Don't flush wipes image
March 27, 2020

As toilet paper is now so hard to find, many District residents and employees are turning to alternatives. If you must use something other than toilet paper, please be sure to discard it in the trash.

Only toilet paper is designed to break apart in pipes and sewers. Toilet paper goes through extensive testing to ensure that it disintegrates as it is flushed, other products remain intact and obstruct pipes.

Don’t be fooled by wipes packaging claims that these products are flushable. They are not. These and other alternatives may make it down your toilet, but they cause a number of problems on their journey to the wastewater treatment plant. They can, and do, clog pipes causing backups in homes and neighborhoods. Wipes, and other tp alternatives, form giant globs that tangle and damage DC Water’s sewer pumps.

“We know these are trying times,” said DC Water CEO and General Manager David L. Gadis. “But one simple action – to throw these items in the trash rather than flushing them – can save you from even further disruption—and plumber’s fees. Water and sewer services are critical in solving this current health crisis. Please protect our systems and your health.”

More information on protecting your pipes can be found at

Wipes stuck in equipment at DC Water's Potomac Sewer Pumping Station.