Quarantine 101: What not to flush, according to plumbing experts

Quarantine 101: What to flush and what NOT to flush

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With a full house during the stay-at-home order, the last thing you want to deal with is a stopped-up toilet. So, here’s a little quarantine 101: What not to flush.

Simply put, if it isn’t toilet paper, don’t flush it.

“We really want to impart to the citizens: only flush toilet paper,” said Tim Beckstrom, the Public Information Officer for Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

Beckstrom says toilet paper is the only safe thing to flush down the toilet. That means no wipes – even if the package reads ‘flushable.’

“There is a bit of a misnomer there,” said Beckstrom. “They don’t break down as easily in the sewage systems. So, we don’t want any added stress to the infrastructure and to the workers.”

A stressed sewage system could lead to a sticky situation for families stuck at home. While it isn’t a concern in the Baton Rouge area, yet, it could be.

“There have been some instances that this has been a major problem. New Orleans, actually, a couple of weeks ago, they had an issue, as well. So, this has become a growing concern,” said Beckstrom.

The best advice is to remain proactive. Kim Vince of Louis Mechanical Contractors, Inc. says families need to pay attention to what they or their children may toss into the toilet.

“They’re going to have to be more proactive about watching what’s going in,” she said. “Otherwise, it will cause a stoppage eventually.”

If you do experience a stoppage, don’t panic. Plumbing experts are available to service your home.

“What the plumbers are trying to do, to begin with... they are trying to unstop it from the outside if all possible. And that way they don’t have to go into the home,” said Vince.

Vince says plumbers will enter the home for services, if necessary. But they take precautions to keep your and their health safe. She also recommends you keep a trash can in the bathroom. So, all paper towels or disinfectant wipes go into the garbage.

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