We know you’ve seen the empty shelves where there would normally be rolls and rolls of precious toilet paper – a shortage due to consumer panic buying in the midst of preparing for COVID-19 quarantines. By now, we’ve all seen the memes accumulating in our social media feeds. (This one is our favorite right now.) The situation has caused many to wonder about what they might resort to doing if and when they reach the end of their supply.
Human beings are pretty creative when we get desperate. And when the going gets tough, the tougher materials may find a way into your bathroom regimen. The question isn’t HOW we will proceed if this happens, but with WHAT? So what are folks using when they run out of toilet paper?
When it comes to alternative paper products, we’ve heard it all: paper towels, wipes (that are NOT actually flushable!), newspapers, tissue paper, junk mail, cardboard, old calendars, old album covers… Whatever you and your family might choose to use in those moments of desperation are up to you. BUT, we implore you to please think twice before flushing. Actually, think about the THREE P’s!
The Three P’s are the only three things that should ever get flushed down the toilet: pee, poop, and potty paper.
Is it possible that you didn’t know that? Yes, of course. And we’re not here to judge you in these moments of need. Our job is to provide you, our community, with a critical public health service. And whatever you need to do for yourself when the going gets tough is your business. But YOUR business becomes OUR business when our pipes get clogged, sewers get backed up, or when equipment in our water resource recovery facility gets damaged. (See photo, right.)
So what should you do?
The best way to handle the situation is pretend you’re camping! If you MUST use an alternative paper product in the bathroom, keep a re-sealable plastic bag nearby. Don’t want people to see the contents of the bag? Line the bag with tin foil ahead of time. When you’re done with the business at hand, put the alternate paper in the re-sealable bag, seal it, and throw it in the garbage. Remember, this situation is only temporary. It’s better for paper towels to end up in a landfill than clogging your pipes.
Remember, the toilet is not a trash can. What you flush down your toilet can have serious impacts on your pipes and the public service we provide. Please help us help you. Always remember the 3 Ps: pee, poop, and potty paper only.