As some Ohioans search for alternatives to toilet paper, Ohio EPA is advising people not to flush any product other than toilet paper to avoid clogging sewers and septic systems.

Flushing products other than toilet paper is generally a bad idea. Cleaning wipes, tissues, and paper towels will eventually clog public sewers and home septic systems. Flushing these items can cause sewage backups into homes and expensive repairs.

Even in normal times, only toilet paper should be flushed. Toilet paper dissolves more easily in water. Wipes are among the most commonly flushed items which shouldn’t be flushed. Among products and items that should never be flushed are:

wipes, including baby wipes and disinfectant wipes – even if they are labeled as flushable;

cat litter;

hygiene products including cotton balls and swabs, menstrual products, and condoms;

medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines; and

fats and grease.

These items always should be bagged and thrown in the garbage. More information is available online from the Water Environment Federation and U.S. EPA, or by calling local municipal sewer and septic system professionals.