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Toilets and sinks are not garbage cans

The City of London currently manages five wastewater treatment plants and 38 pumping stations. Keeping London's pipes free and clear helps reduce back ups, basement flooding, and environmental impacts. 

Drains are designed for wastewater and toilet paper only. Flushing the wrong things down your toilet or sink can block sewer pipes and may cause flooding.  It is also extremely important to keep medicines and garbage out of the toilet.

This includes:


  • Do not flush any type of wipe, even if they say on the packaging they are flushable 


  • Remember to always dispose of medicines by taking them to your pharmacy

Face masks

London has more than 1,434 kilometers of sanitary mains, and has reduced the number of sewer blockages by 75% since 2010. This significant decrease is one of the best in Canada says  Barry Orr, Sewer Outreach and Control Inspector at the City of London, and he is hoping Londoners can continue this trend while social distancing at home.

Orr recommends families practice the Toilet Flush Challenge at home to help clear their sewer lines.

  1. The first step is to place a garbage can in all washrooms to make sure wipes or PPE don’t get mistakenly flushed.
  2. Next, have a family member stand at each toilet in the house.
  3. Do a countdown and flush your toilets once simultaneously to help keep your sewer line clean. Repeat the challenge every month.

Teachers and parents who would like class materials, resources, and educational videos about London’s sewers can learn more online or contact Barry Orr at 

“Remember, toilets aren’t a garbage can. Please be safe.”

For more information visit:

City of London Sewers and Wastewater website

Toilets or not Garbage Cans Video