Flushing it Down the Drain in Clark County, WA

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

Down the Drain in Clark County, WA

CLean water
It sure can be confusing for many of us wondering what’s okay to flush down the drain in our communities, including Clark County, WA. As an EcoBroker,  it makes sense to me to stop, and think, before we flush anything into our waste water systems.

Finding out what’s permissible to pour down the drains can be tricky, because different states, counties and cities have their own set of standards. However, common sense can be a guide when you don’t have access to the information.

For example,  unless a substance has been identified as a hazardous waste, it is always more prudent to put it the regular garbage than flush it down the toilet or wash it down the drain.

Modern landfills are designed with special liners to prevent substances and materials from leeching out and draining into nearby water tributaries. Water treatment systems might not even detect substances that can harm wildlife.

Extremely low levels of prescription drugs, hormones, antibacterial agents and some beauty products may have a toxic effect on creatures. Frogs, shellfish and insects can’t safely ingest the same quantity as their human counterparts.

Guidelines for Down the Drain in Clark County

Toilet FlushTo discourage flushing drugs down the drain, Clark County has a free take-back program for unwanted medications. You can drop off unwanted or outdated drugs ( except controlled substances) at participating pharmacies.

Controlled substances can be returned to some local police stations. All medication must be kept in their original and sealed containers, and have patient information removed or marked out. 

Basically, to play it safe we should only flush tissue and human waste down the toilet. Here’s a list of items you should never, ever flush.

  • disposable diapers
  • tampons
  • cotton balls and swabs
  • mini or maxi pads
  • unused medications (put original containers in a plastic, zip-lock bag and throw the bag in the trash)
  • condoms
  • cleaning wipes of any kind
  • facial tissue
  • bandages and bandage wrappings

Down the Drain - Just Say No to FOG

Pouring fats, oil and grease down the drain creates globs that back up sewer lines. The globs of fat and waste are difficult to disinfect at treatment plants and can allow disease causing bacteria to enter nearby streams, lakes and rivers.


  • Scrape food scraps into the trash or compost bin.
  • Or catch food scraps and other solids with a strainer in the sink drain, and empty the strainer into the trash or compost bin.
  • Pour grease into steel cans, let it harden and throw in the trash.
  • Stop using your garbage disposal or minimize its use.
  • Wipe pots, pans and dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or washing them, then throw paper towels in the garbage.
  • Rinse dishes and pans with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher.


  • Don't pour grease down sink drains or toilets.
  • Don't use cloth towels or rags to scrape oil or grease off plates and utensils because grease will drain to the sewer when you wash the towels.
  • Don't run water over dishes, pans, fryers or griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.

Clean water 
In addition, last year the Clark County started working with school districts to mount more than 500 medallions adjacent to storm drains around schools. The medallions read: Protect Water, Only Rain in Drain.

Remember those outside storm water drains are not placed in your neighborhood as a handy spot to dump paint, motor oil or other harmful substances. Before we flush anything down the drain in Clark County, remember:  Protect Water, Only Rain in Drain. 

If you're looking for eco-friendly homes in Clark County, I'd love to be your guide. As an EcoBroker, I have the resources to help you make wise decisions regarding your home and lifestyle.

Posted by


ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.







Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Brad Rachielles 07/17/2012 11:08 AM
  2. Debbie Reynolds 07/17/2012 01:59 PM
  3. Evelyn Kennedy 07/17/2012 02:22 PM
  4. John McCormack, CRS 07/22/2012 02:28 PM
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Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Debb, my family gets it....those garbage pails fill up regularly and I'm the one who should know....I take them out. And Pills, I'd never flush that, I can imagine the damage that can cause.

Jul 17, 2012 08:32 AM #9
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, Wonderful post with valuable information.     Common sense would state not to flush anything other than TP, but guess this does happen, or it would not go to print!   SUGGESTED!

Jul 17, 2012 08:38 AM #10
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Your post if followed will make a HUGE difference in life.  We worked on that with "Heal The Bay", we asked people not to throw oil into the rain drains, and the water quality in the Bay improved dramatically.  The kids in the school district where we volunteered wrote papers, spoke at events, tested the water, tested the sand, etc, and reported to all.  Just those little ways changed the pollution level...A

Jul 17, 2012 08:40 AM #11
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Hi Debb-Just because nobody is watching you, you should you the proper methods of disposing of your waste instead of taking the easy route of  flushing down drains and toilets. 


Good stuff!

Jul 17, 2012 08:42 AM #12
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Excellent reminder Debb!  You rocked this one and now is time to suggest!

Jul 17, 2012 09:25 AM #13
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Good information Debb.. I get questions all the time on septic systems... It is important what to do and what not to do!

Jul 17, 2012 09:52 AM #14
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert


Good blog covering this confusing and sometimes complex issue  (depending on the state,etc.). I will suggest it just like John as he is right as Rock on this whole topic. Many times it is difficult to be Green..

Jul 17, 2012 09:53 AM #15
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Glad to see you aren't just barking anymore. (LOL) We use soap that is friendly for the environment and a lot of the time we take left over dish water out to our plants rather than down the drain.

Jul 17, 2012 10:14 AM #16
Brad Rachielles
CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453 - Upland, CA


Had just learned about old meds and their not being filtered out completely by treatment facilities. Great Post. Suggesting if I can. Re-blogging if I can.

Jul 17, 2012 11:03 AM #17
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Suggested. Great post you wrote. I once wrote about how to safely dispose of unused medication. It's along the same lines.



Jul 17, 2012 11:24 AM #18
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Hi Debb!  I laughed when I saw the list! I just don't see why people do that. In Costa Rica you don't flush anything, nothing at all, other than well.... what comes natural. Instead, they have little trash cans and they get emtied regularly. It has to do with clogging the system. We are fortunate, but there are limitations. Have a good night. I hope you are well!

Jul 17, 2012 11:30 AM #19
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent
Debb, Great post that I suggested. It is scary to think what is going into our water supply and general landfill that will make its way into our water supply.
Jul 17, 2012 01:55 PM #20
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage


Some things I already know, some I didn't Debb. thanks for the thorough explanation.

Jul 17, 2012 05:23 PM #21
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Debb..... what a great post.... many forget to think about how the environment is being destroyed by disposal of certain items...

Jul 17, 2012 08:10 PM #22
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Richard, Hi there and you must know I'm laughing and laughing over your line ~ "If only I had known to keep all of the morphine and other pain medication for my personal use today."  Really laugh out loud hysterical. Thanks for that.

I appreciate your comments and honesty.  I think many of us used to toss stuff down the toilet thinking it was a safer alternative than the garbage.  Thanks for the suggest effort too. ;)

Ellen, I'm generally the garbage man at our house too. We do a lot of recycling here - it can be tedious, but it makes me feel better. Lol.

Joan, you would think that most of it is it common sense huh? Did you know that oil shouldn't be washed down the drain?  I feel guilty for all the olive oil on plates and bowls that I've rinsed and flushed down the drain of the sink -

Alexandra, they are reaching out to school children here too. Perhaps we all know our answers and solutions to many of these environmental problems rest with the children. Glad to know it made a difference...it generally does if "enough" people make a change. Baby steps.

Jul 17, 2012 11:50 PM #23
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Adrian, it's the self po-po principle. Always behave as if someone is watching. :)

Q-man, Thanks for the suggest - I sure appreciate you. Hope you enjoyed JM day!!

Janis - Septic systems are even more tricky - obviously. It is so important to get the regular maintenance done on those.

Jul 17, 2012 11:52 PM #24
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Robert, thank you for the suggest. Do you think my button is working? ;)  Being green can be difficult, but generally it's a common sense outlook that requires just a bit more discipline.

Hi there Todd, I really appreciate that about you. It doesn't surprise me - you are a naturally eco friendly guy. It's cool you pass on your "good habits" to your adorable children too. ( and yes, I'm not barking any longer - just growling from time to time.) Lol.

Brad. Thank you. :)

Jill, I will come visit your post Re: flushing meds.  Thanks for your part in educating others in this important matter. We don't need any more drugged frogs or fish. :)

Jul 17, 2012 11:56 PM #25
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Great post Debb, common sense should dictate what should be flushed, but too often common sense is not that common.  I should send this to my renters, sometimes we find some pretty wild things stuck in the drains.

Jul 22, 2012 04:03 PM #26
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Oh Deb this is so very good, thanks for putting it together and sharing it with us. Keep on blogging and sharing that information.

Jul 26, 2012 04:59 AM #27
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi Cathy, glad you enjoyed the post and had a good laugh. It is odd that people use toilets as a garbage pail?  Out of sight, out of mind. 

Debbie, thanks for the suggest. Folks really do need to stop throwing stuff in our water and sewer lines. 

Tom, thanks for trying. ;) And you probably see first hand the damage that can be done dumping the wrong stuff in wrong places. 

Barbara, thanks very much for the visit. Good to see you and I'm glad you agree that too many folks just don't think about where things end up - rivers, lakes and streams. 

Bob, we just had an unpleasent experience at our rental home in Portland. YUK. It's bad enough when it's your own toilet that breaks or gets plugged - much less a stranger. 

Hi David, how nice of you - thanks. Yep, I'm going keep on keeping on...;)

Jul 26, 2012 05:15 AM #28
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