With #FlushSmartDay around the corner, we’re bringing it back to the basics of all things responsible flushing habits. Keeping it simple to ensure consumers understand what shouldn’t be sent down the drain.

Wait, what even is the RFA?

The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) brings together companies, manufacturers, and wastewater agencies committed to educating consumers and advocating for responsible flushing habits. Our goal is simple and straightforward – to protect our environment, taxpayer dollars, and our community wastewater infrastructure from gross and costly clogs through our new #FlushSmart campaign.

The RFA represents a coalition of over 20 companies that are committed to educating consumers to help prevent the avoidable and costly damage to our sewer system caused by sending non-flushable products down the toilet. We’ve also partnered with the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, the National Stewardship Action Council, and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies to send a clear message: if you see this symbol DO NOT FLUSH this product.

So, what is this “Do Not Flush” symbol you keep mentioning? Where can I find it?

The “Do Not Flush” symbol is just that, a simple straightforward symbol found on all non-flushable wipes and bathroom products to show you where it doesn’t go! When you buy household products – look for the symbol on the packaging (i.e., makeup wipes, cleaning wipes, baby wipes, etc.), so you can make sure that you dispose of them in the trash (or compost bin if applicable). It’s as simple as that!

Well, what does #FlushSmart mean?

#FlushSmart is RFA’s dedicated public education campaign aimed to increase consumer awareness about the harmful effects of sending non-flushable products down the toilet. By promoting good flushing habits, we can help keep our homes and communities healthy by helping to reduce unintended damage to our environment and our wastewater infrastructure.

What’s the big deal about #FlushSmartDay?

July 1st marks our first ever #FlushSmartDay! This day is dedicated to spreading the word about all things related to smart flushing, such as checking for the “Do Not Flush” symbol and never pouring fats, oils, or grease (FOGs) down the drain. July 1st is also the first day of the enactment for AB 818, a California law requiring wipes manufacturers to place the “Do Not Flush” symbol on product packaging. There are similar laws in Washington, Oregon and Illinois so consumers will definitely see the “Do Not Flush” symbol on baby wipes, cleaning wipes, and others nationwide. We encourage everyone to spread the word about the importance of responsible flushing habits. Tell your friends, family, and social media followers!

What is that creature lurking in our sewers?

THE CLOG MONSTER! Some call them fatbergs. Others call them obstructions. But in fact, these avoidable clogs are monsters on our sewer systems. When you send the wrong products down the drain, they accumulate in pipes, pumps and grates and feed the growth of gross clogs that can wreak havoc. The clog monster is an embodiment of how items not meant to be flushed feed a growing and avoidable monster.

What makes responsible flushing habits so important?

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) estimates that $400 million dollars are spent cleaning up and repairing wastewater treatment equipment caused by non-flushable wipes. By improving our flushing habits, we can easily and significantly reduce the burden placed on the sewage systems that keep us and our communities healthy and safe. The California Legislature, wastewater and environmental groups, more than two dozen wipes manufacturers, and the RFA all agree if we work together, we hold the power. And, with the “Do Not Flush” symbol, that task has become so much easier!

What Else Should I Know Before #FlushSmart Day?

Our website and previous blog posts are filled with tons of information about good flushing habits and the RFA. You can learn more about what we do, how far we’ve come, and where we’re going by taking a look at our website www.flushsmart.org and following us on Twitter and Facebook! In the meantime, check out a quick list on what not to flush to avoid a visit from the clog monster!

What Not to Flush:

  • Baby Wipes or Household Cleaning Wipes
    • Paper Towels, Facial Tissue, Makeup Wipes
    • Fats, Oils, and Grease
    • Food, Trash, Plastic Bags
    • Rags, Cloth, Disposable Gloves
    • Cotton Balls, Cotton Swabs, Dental Floss
    • Feminine Products
    • Hair/Hair Weaves
    • Medications/Syringes

About Responsible Flushing Alliance 

The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to consumer education focused on what not to flush. RFA’s goal is to change consumer behavior to help reduce damage to our nation’s sewage systems caused by objects and materials not designed to be flushed.