Why “Flushable” Wipes Are Unflushable

Potential Postal Disruption

In the event of a postal disruption at Canada Post that may begin on or after October 22, 2018, we ask that citizens please make alternative arrangements to ensure the timely receipt of their payment to the City.

  • Backflow Prevention Program
  • Sewer Lateral Management Program
  • Protective Plumbing Program (assessment and payment request forms)
  • Lead Line Replacement Loan application forms

All required documentation for the above mentioned programs should be dropped off at the Hamilton Water Storefront located at 330 Wentworth St. North, between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.

Protective Plumbing Program Grant Cheque Information

  • Cheques will be available for pick up at 330 Wentworth St. North, between 8:30 am and 3 pm.
  • Property Owners should call 905-546-2489 to verify that their cheque is available for pick-up before coming to 330 Wentworth.
  • Property Owner will be required to show Identification in order to pick up the grant cheque.

If you have any questions, please free to call 905-546-2489.


“FLUSHABLE” wipes, such as make-up removal wipes, cleaning wipes and baby wipes should not be flushed down the toilet, even if their products' packaging states that they are flushable. As convenient as flushing wipes may sound, the claims on the product packaging are misleading. Wipes do not break down in the wastewater treatment process the same way that toilet paper does, creating clogs in pipes and sewers.

Illustration of Face Wipes container

Illustration of Baby Wipes package

Illustration of a wipes container

ALL WIPES, including cleaning wipes, baby wipes, adult personal hygiene wipes, facial wipes and make-up removal wipes should be disposed of in the garbage.

Misleading Product Packaging

As an incentive to buy wipes and personal hygiene products, some manufacturers state that their products are OK to flush on the package. However, a majority of Canadian municipalities and international water services agree that these wipes are not safe to flush because they are:

  • Buoyant
  • Unable to break down into small pieces quickly
  • Contain plastic, regenerated cellulose or materials that do not readily degrade in a range of natural environments

These disposable wipes are one of the main culprits to cause millions of dollars in wastewater infrastructure damages across Canada.


Ignore the flushable information on your wipes' packaging when they state that wipes are safe to flush. Wipes are not safe to flush.


The City of Hamilton is a member of the Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group (MESUG), which advocates for the removal of this misleading packaging. Currently, MESUG is engaging in discussions with the provincial and federal levels of government in Canada to establish an international standard of products that can be safely flushed down toilets. As of now, this standard does not exist.

  • The City of Hamilton and MESUG are supportive of the international water industry's position on non-flushable and 'flushable' labelled products, which states:
  • Only the 3Ps - pee, poo and toilet paper - should be flushed.
  • Wipes labelled as 'flushable' based on passing a manufacturers' trade association guidance document should be labelled "Do Not Flush" until there is a standard agreed by the water and wastewater industry, preferably developed under the banner of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
  • Manufacturers of wipes and personal hygiene products should give consumers clear and unambiguous information about appropriate disposal methods.