HomeThe CSWD BlogHazardous WasteDon’t Flush It, Don’t Dump It!

Don’t Flush It, Don’t Dump It!

August is National Water Quality Month

Ever think about what lies at the end of your home’s sink, tub, and toilet drains? Yeah, probably not! We tend not to bring it up at parties, but it’s a topic we should ALL think about much more.

The fact is, anything you put down a drain in Chittenden County is ultimately going to go through an on-site septic system or to a wastewater treatment facility. Anything solid or even semi-solid—like fats and grease—that these systems aren’t designed to handle will clog up the works and cause big problems. That means wipes, feminine hygiene products, and really anything that wasn’t produced by your body or isn’t plain toilet paper should never go down the drain.

This applies to things like medications and hazardous or toxic cleaners and materials as well. Fluids such as engine coolant and motor oils should also never be allowed to drain directly onto soils.

Ultimately, the water that carries these materials ends up in the groundwater and then flowing into Lake Champlain.

Toxic and hazardous substances will kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic system and in our soils and waterways, preventing these natural and human-made systems from doing their jobs effectively.


  • Keep anything except plain toilet paper and body byproducts OUT of the toilet. Dispose of ALL wipes and paper towels in the trash.
  • Do not pour hazardous waste like bleach, household chemicals or medications down your drain. Dispose of these items properly.

Medications disposal options
Hazardous waste disposal options

Help keep our waterways clean and clear and use the drains in your house for their original purpose: To safely and responsibly manage non-hazardous wastewater and human waste.

For more information and posters for rental properties, public restrooms, and commercial kitchens, visit the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation page on wastewater topics.

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Michele Morris
Michele Morris
Director of Outreach & Communications at CSWD