EPA urges Americans to only flush toilet paper amid coronavirus pandemic


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging all Americans to only flush toilet paper, not disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items that should be disposed of in the trash.

Flushing only toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage the nation’s wastewater.

While EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you should never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items.

Preventable toilet and sewer backups can pose a threat to human health and present an extra challenge to water utilities and their workforce. Flushing anything other than toilet paper, including disinfecting wipes, can damage internal plumbing, local sewer systems and septic systems.

Fixing those backups is costly and takes time and resources away from ensuring that wastewater management systems are otherwise working properly. Having fully operational wastewater services are critical to containing COVID-19 and protecting Americans from other public health risks.

For more information, see epa.gov/coronavirus.