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Only Flush the 3 P's - Please DO NOT Flush Paper Towels and Wipes

Post Date:03/23/2020

In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19 and potential measures that may be taken by the federal, state, and local governments, North Port Utilities would like to remind you of some simple measures you can take to reduce the amount of service calls and possible line breaks and backups to the municipal sewer system (or your own septic system if you are not a Utilities customer). 

There have been several social media posts, alluding to cutting paper towels in half to serve as toilet paper. DO NOT FLUSH PAPER TOWELS DOWN THE TOILET!  Paper towels, as well as “FLUSHABLE” and “Non-FLUSHABLE” wipes are the primary source of blockages in the sewer system that lead to lift station and pump failure. This also holds true with residential septic systems. These items do not break down. Please take a look at our video about non-flushable items: 

North Port Utilities Director, Rick Newkirk stated, “Like golf balls and teddy bears, just because an item can fit down the toilet and be flushed, doesn’t mean it should. Many unnecessary breaks and blockages occur because of items being flushed down the toilet that have no business being there.” Further, Newkirk said, “The cost of man hours, equipment, and replacement parts can be saved, for both the City or the resident, if everyone is aware of what causes damage in the sewer/septic system. When in doubt, throw it out!” Paper towels, wipes, feminine hygiene products, kitty litter, hair, and cigarette butts, among other things should be thrown in the trash can, not the toilet.   

For more information regarding non-flushable items, please visit the Utilities webpage at: If you have any questions, please feel welcome to call the Utilities Department at 941-429-7122.

To report a line break, sewer backup, or other water service emergency, please call 941-240-8000.



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