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What SHOULD NOT Go Down the Drain

safe drain


What you pour down the drain may harm your household plumbing, the wastewater collection and treatment system, and the environment.


The following substances SHOULD NOT be disposed into drains that lead to the sanitary sewer:
  • Furniture and metal polishes
  • Paint, varnish and paint thinner
  • Deck cleaners and rust remover
  • Garden chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides/weed killers
  • Motor oil, antifreeze and most all vehicle-related fluids

 A more comprehensive list is available from the Water Environment Federation by clicking HERE.

What is the safest method of disposal for household hazardous waste?

For more information on the proper disposal of household hazardous waste, please click HERE.


Expired and/or unused medications also SHOULD NOT be discarded into toilet bowls or household drains.

What are considered to be “medications”?

  • Prescription drugs such as hormones (birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy, etc.); antidepressants; antibiotics; and any veterinary/pet medicines
  • Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) and prescription narcotic painkillers; cold and flu remedies; and antiseptics (germ-killing liquids)

What is the safest method of disposal for expired or unused medications?

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration offers detailed guidance online about the proper disposal of medications HERE.

To learn how medications can enter the environment, please visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site.