'Toilets are not trash cans' Debris covers Fargo lift station pump

The photo is of a Fargo lift station pump completely covered with debris flushed down the toilet.

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – The city of Fargo is reminding people that toilets are not meant to be used as trash cans. It comes after a Fargo lift station pump was found completely covered with debris that was flushed down the toilet.

A picture of that pump is attached to this story. The city says the pump must be cleaned by hand to prevent pump failure and backups.

Employees at the wastewater treatment plant say when inappropriate items are flushed, backups can happen on your own property or within the broader sanitary sewer system and lift stations.

“Even if an item is labeled ‘flushable,’ it does not disperse after being flushed. While the toilet may still flush the item, it does not break down upon reaching the sanitary sewer system,” they said in a news release.

As these items accumulate within the sewer pipes, they restrict the flow and eventually cause blockages.

“This leads to sanitary sewer backups and/or overflows, which can be harmful to the environment and costly for both homeowners and the City of Fargo. “

The city says to only flush “your personal contributions” and toilet paper. The following items should not be flushed down the toilet:

 Baby wipes and diapers
 Rags and towels
 Cotton swabs
 Syringes
 Candy and other food wrappers
 Clothing labels
 Cleaning sponges
 Toys
 Plastic items of any description
 Aquarium gravel or kitty litter
 Rubber items, such as latex gloves
 Cigarette butts
 Sanitary napkins
 Hair
 Underwear
 Disposable toilet brushes