What You Flush Could Clog Sewers, Damage Homes

Paul Gutierrez

COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM) - You may not think twice about what you flush down the toilet, but Public Works says you should.

From diapers to paper towels to marbles, the Sewer Division in Council Bluffs has seen it all beneath manhole covers. Those discoveries combined with water flowing off course means waste is building up, and for every piece of debris that piles up the threat of an overflow increases.

"More generally, that overflow will come up through your floor drain," said Dan Jackson, equipment operator. "For those who don't have a floor drain, it will come up through the toilet, bathtub and shower."

On average, Jackson told FOX 42 News Monday his department responds to about six calls per day.

"I think there's a lot of kids flushing toys as well," said Jackson. "A lot of times, however, it's people not knowing they shouldn't flush something down the toilet."

A smelly result that could cost you hundreds of dollars in plumbing fees and also threaten surrounding homes if you're not careful.

"Say you get something that actually gets down the line and gets in the main and plugs the main on down, then the person next door could also end up reaping the results."

Other commonly found items in sewers that shouldn't be there include, but are not limited to, baby wipes, Kleenex and coins.