Only flush toilet paper! Disposable wipes and paper towels need to be disposed of in the garbage.  Disposable wipes and paper towels will cause problems (you don’t want to deal with) for both homeowners and the City when flushed down toilets.

Graphic of acceptable items to flush

Our Utilities staff work hard to keep Eagan’s 302 miles of sewer pipe, 17 lift stations, and almost 20,000 service connections to the sanitary sewer in good working order. However, disposable wipes are causing problems for both the City and homeowners when flushed down toilets. Sanitary and disinfectant wipes need to be disposed of in the garbage! This is especially important to understand during the COVID-19 Pandemic when we are using a variety of disposable wipes. 

Wipes labeled as “flushable” or “septic safe” do not break down the same way as toilet paper. They clog residential and municipal sewer pipes, put stress on community wastewater collection and treatment systems, and cause premature equipment repair and replacement, which indirectly drives up utility rates.

The “flushable” wipes snag on any imperfection in the sewer pipes, catch passing debris, which create a “dam” that will grow in size and plug the pipe. The picture shows “flushable” wipes being cleaned off a bar grate in one of Eagan’s lift stations by Metropolitan Council utility workers—a task that is done almost daily.

“Flushable wipes can cause problems not only for the utility, with plugged pumps and pipes, but also to homeowners with sanitary sewer backups,” says Jon Eaton, Superintendent of Utilities. “Our goal is to maintain a highly functioning sewer system at the lowest possible cost to the consumer. Disposable wipes are creating an extra level of maintenance that can be avoided.” Eaton adds “please do your part and remember- don’t flush wipes down the toilet!”

For more information, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s website at www.pca.state.mn.us/wipes.