Indiana American Water Encourages Customers to Refrain from Flushing Disposable Wipes and Other Items Down the Drain

GREENWOOD, IND. – March 20, 2020 – With toilet paper in short supplies at most stores, many households are increasing their use of “flushable” wipes, but Indiana American Water warns against flushing these items down the toilet. According to the Company, the “flushable” wipes are one of the leading causes of clogged pipes. Flushing any type of paper towels or wipes down the toilet, even those that are labeled flushable or biodegradable, can lead to sewer backups, treatment plant issues and in-home plumbing clogs.

“Many sewer blockages occur between the house or business and the utility’s sewer main, where the property owner is responsible for correcting the problem,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “We want to help our customers avoid blockages and a costly plumbing emergency. While it might seem to make your daily life easier, putting the wrong thing down the toilet or drain can and does cause blockages, which take time and money to fix.”

In addition to keeping disposable wipes out of your plumbing system, Indiana American Water is also encouraging homeowners to use the following tips to avoid sewer clogs and backups:

  • Avoid flushing all paper towels, flushable wipes and even cotton rounds—these items should be thrown in the trash instead.
  • Your drain pipes are typically only four inches at their widest, which makes it easy for things like dental floss, cotton swabs and hair to cause stringy clogs. Always throw these items in the trash and use a strainer in your tub drain to prevent hair clogs.
  • Items like contact lenses and medication can impact the environment and the wastewater treatment process. Throw all used contact lenses in the trash and take your unused/expired prescription medications to an authorized prescription drug drop-off location.
  • Never pour fat, oils or grease down your garbage disposal. Instead, allow it to cool and use a rubber scraper to remove these items from cookware, plates, utensils and cooking surfaces. Then place the grease in a sealed container and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Install baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and empty them into the trash

More information and tips on the 12 things that should never go down your drain can be found online at the wastewater treatment page at