The Unflushables

Vancouver is rolling out a new campaign that is aimed at educating residents to stop flushing certain items down the drain…the Unflushables, that clog regional and municipal sewer systems. Sounds like a program that could be applied nationally as the estimated cost of dealing with this across Canada is some $250million.

The 2017 Unflushable Campaign will focus on the worst offenders of clogged drains, wipes, paper towels, dental floss, hair , tampons , applicators, condoms, as well as medications. the Metro Vancouver Utilities Chair Darrell  Mussatto says we wouldn’t believe what people try to flush , but it is the everyday items that cause the most grief. To clear out and clean up the clogs costs Vancouver hundreds of thousands of dollars, but also equipment repair, sewage overflows, and environmental impact.

Medications are included as a Unflushable not because it can clog up the systems , but the medications are difficult to remove from the water and can be flushed out into the environment. Unused or expired meds should be taken to a local pharmacy for disposal.

There is no regulatory standard for what is and is not flushable, but with hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year to correct the effects of the unflushables maybe this should get a look at.

For more on the Unflushables Campaign and the correct way to dispose of the targeted items go to




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