Prevent Sewer Backups

Wipes block pump in City of Battle Ground sewer system

Sewer pump clogged with wipes

The leading cause of sewer backups and spills is debris that should never have entered the system.

Disposable wipes are a huge culprit. Fats, oils and greases (FOG) contribute as well.  

These items cause pipes and pumps to clog and can lead to sewage backups into streets through manholes or into homes through toilets, tubs or showers. The result is costly to individual homeowners and to ratepayers.    

It’s up to all of us to maintain our sewer system and protect our investment in public infrastructure.    

Wipes Clog Pipes – Flush Wisely!

Disposable wipes of any kind, whether branded as “flushable” or otherwise, should never be flushed down the toilet and into the sewer system. Wipes do not dissolve like toilet paper.  They are made of materials that do not degrade and easily clog pipes and wrap around pumps.  

Do Flush

  • Human Waste
  • Toilet Paper
Toilets are not trash cans

Never Flush

  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Baby Wipes
  • Cosmetic Wipes
  • Personal Wipes
  • "Flushable" Wipes
  • Paper Towels
  • Diapers
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Bandages
  • Floss
  • Medications
  • Disposable Face Masks
  • Disposable Gloves
Never flush wipes

Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG) 

When FOG is washed down the sink it forms large, thick grease balls that clog pipes – in your home as well as in the public sewer system. When non-dissolving wipes combine with grease balls, the wads of debris become impenetrable in sewer lines.

Do follow these steps to discard of FOG properly

  • Large quantities of cooking oil should be cooled, poured into a container and sealed. Drop the sealed container into the trash can.
  • Pour cooking fat or grease into a small heat-resistant container. Once it cools or solidifies, place it in the garbage.
  • “Dry Wipe” cooled pots, pans or dishes before washing to minimize the amount of FOG and solids washed down the drain.


  • Dispose of FOG into the sink (or garbage disposal), toilets, or any drain.

The High Cost of Repairs

Proactive maintenance to clear sewer lines and repair pumps clogged with wipes and FOG is an ongoing cost.  Additional costs occur with emergency repairs when clogs result in a sewage spill.  While homeowners pay for their own sewer/plumbing repairs, the cost to maintain and repair the public sewer system is borne by all ratepayers.  

Protect our Environment

Clogged sewer pipes, sewer backups and spills are detrimental to our environment and can be a risk to public health.  

Please take care to protect our environment, our health and the investment in our homes and public infrastructure.

FOG & Wipes accumulate in City of Battle Ground Sewer Pipe

Wipes and FOG accumulate in City of Battle Ground Sewer Pipe