Please do NOT flush the following....
Posted on Friday April 01, 2022
Our sewer system is not designed to collect trash. Please do NOT flush the following....



What Happens After the Flush?

"Out of sight, out of mind" is the attitude most of us have when it comes to flushing the toilet, running the dishwasher or draining the bathtub. All that dirty water leaving your residence is called "wastewater" which has to end up somewhere. That "somewhere" is in the City of Northwood Wastewater Treatment Plant. Before the wastewater arrives at the treatment plant it first must travel through the pipes connected to your home, apartment, or business via gravity to our collections system pipes. From our collection system pipes it enters pumping stations that "pump" the water to the next point along the way. If there are no blockages in the pipes this wastewater reaches the treatment plant which runs the wastewater through a process that progressively removes solids, dissolved solids and harmful pathogens.


What is the problem and how am I affected?

Sewer backups can cause damage to homes, health hazards and threaten the environment. Sewer pipes blocked by grease and non-flushable items are on the rise in Northwood and are becoming a big problem for our staff.

These blockages may cause sewage overflows and back-ups in your home, your neighbor's home, our waterways, and just about wherever water can find a way out. These blockages can be attributed to improper disposal of personal items, such as diapers, feminine hygiene products, oil/grease, towels, and rags placed into the sewer system. Everything you flush down your toilet, grind up in your garbage disposal, and pour in your drains end up at the treatment plant. For instance, suppose you accidentally flush a washcloth down your toilet. If it doesn't clog your system and manages to move through your pipes it eventually ends up at the pumping station where it has joined hundreds of other rags, diapers, toys, plastic applicators, and other items that clog up the pumps and prevent them from working properly. Best case scenario -- a pump station technician is able to remove the pump from service, clear the blockage, reassemble, prime the pump and then return it to service. Worst case scenario -- the pump has been trying to run and is damaged. This situation leads to costly repairs.


Please do NOT pour down drains:

  • Grease, all used cooking oils, and leftover sauces and gravies

    (allow to cool and solidify, then scrape out and dispose in trash)

  • Household/gardening chemicals
  • Paint
  • Engine oil
  • Leftover cleaners/solvents



Please do NOT Flush:

Flushable Wipes


Used bandages


Dental floss

Cotton balls/Q-tips

Personal hygiene products


Paper towels


Baby/Cleaning wipes

Leftover foods/sauces

Articles of clothing/bedding


Our sewer system is not designed to collect trash.



Remember, prevention is the key. With everyone's help we can limit the number of sewer overflows and back-ups due to blockages. This will also eliminate costly clean-ups for homeowners and save on city repairs.

If you would like more information or have any questions, please Contact City Hall 324-1075.


Thank You,

Mayor Doug Moehle & City Council