Service Area
Sewer service is provided in the Hamlets of Ardmore and Fort Kent. In order to service the rural community, the municipal district provides access to three sanitary wastewater lagoons situated in the hamlets of Ardmore, Fort Kent, and Therien.

To Flush, or Not to Flush

What NOT to put down the toilet, drain or garbage disposal………..
Why is this a problem?

  • Any solid matter that you put down the toilet or drainpipe has the potential to cause blockages in both the public sewer or your own private drain. This can lead to:
  • Raw sewage overflowing in your home or your neighbour's home; 
  • An expensive and unpleasant cleanup; 
  • Raw sewage overflowing into yards and streets; 
  • Potential contact with disease-causing organisms; 
  • An increase in operation and maintenance costs for local sewer departments, which can cause higher sewer bills for customers; and
  • Increased pollution due to sewage spills caused by the blockages.
  • Private drainage systems (the part of the drainage network between your home and the public sewer) use narrow pipe-work and sometimes have bends in them where solid objects can lodge and cause blockages. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain private drainage system.

In order to prevent blockages, please refrain from dumping the following items down your toilet, sink, drainpipe or garbage disposal:
  1. Pasta – Semolina content continues to swell once flushed down kitchen sink and will block drains and cause future plumbing problems. Also, strive towards purchasing organic alternatives which are free of these coagulating substances.
  2. Rice – Swells when dry or cooked grains allowed to run down kitchen drains. As to pasta, the same organic and health philosophies should be applied towards sourcing better alternatives that don’t harm drains when accidentally allowed to filter through.
  3. Egg Shells – Shells contribute greatly towards increasing granular waste and is amenable to all other forms of waste by easily collecting on them. It may be asking much at this stage, but did you know that egg shells can also be recycled? Think of its use at Easter time and you already have a clear picture in mind.
  4. Coffee Grounds – Plumbers are unanimous in their agreement that coffee grounds are one of the worst offenders for causing drain blockages. So, before rinsing and washing cups/mugs, dispose of grounds in the garbage. Coffee grounds (and egg shells for that matter) are great for composting.
  5. Cooking oil – Mixes very easily with all other waste and contributes greatly towards creating drain blockages. Oil can be drained and stored for re-use instead of flushing it down drain. Along with grease and all fats, contributes nearly fifty percent of overflows. Don’t forget that salad dressings and mayonnaise are also oils that should not be discarded down drains.
  6. Motor oil – Always keep oil, transmission fluids and all other chemicals (including anti-freeze) far away from pipes. This includes household and storm drains. This will help greatly in protecting waterways.
  7. Grease – Note that this includes cooked/melted fat from meat, poultry, sausage, bacon, skin as well as gravy.
  8. Cooking fat – See Cooking oil. Same practices should be applied.
  9. Food fat – See Grease. Also note that this will include dairy products, including cheese, ice-cream, milk and butter. Vegans should note that nut butters are included in this category too.
  10. Animal Feces – Not only will they clog drains, these will attract harmful bacteria and vermin. It also should be noted that ‘flushable’ cat litter should not be discarded down drains, as it can still carry harmful parasites. Find out from your local vets whether there are suitable disposal units for dumping pet waste in a sustainable and healthy manner.
  11. Stickers – Tiny stickers made of plastic and commonly found on fruit and vegetable packs will stick to the sides of drains. If they get that far, they will also collect along walls and the filters of waste water treatment centers. And because they are minute, will still find a way of entering rivers and oceans.
  12. Condoms – Not made of latex and will not disintegrate in water. Best to dispose of these at waste management centers because of the harmful content of human fluids. Flushed down toilets, they make their way to oceans and can be mistaken for food by animal life.
  13. Sanitary Towels – Replicate example set by restaurants and most public washrooms by creating your own sanitary disposal unit at home. Absorbing moisture, they also have tendency to expand. And, of course, it contains human bodily fluids.
  14. All Paper Towels – To aid sustainability in the home, replace these with washable cotton cloths. While they may be biodegradable, they still absorb moisture and will clog drainage pipes.
  15. Flushable Wipes – Wet wipes, for instance, contain congealed grease and will not disintegrate like toilet paper does. Damaging or harming waste water treatment centers, it also contributes towards increased expenditure of cities’ budgets.
  16. Cotton Balls – See Sanitary Towels, Flushable Wipes and All Paper Towels.
  17. Cleaning Solutions – Content of these solutions; antibacterial agents, phosphates, other compounds, all harm water’s ecosystems. The switch to natural alternatives devoid of harmful chemicals cannot be emphasized enough here.
  18. Paint – No need to dispose of paint solutions’ debris because most municipalities now have hazardous waste facilities in place. Also, paints with eco-friendly solutions, not harmful to water eco-systems and air quality are now widely available.
  19. Motor Solutions – See Motor Oil.
  20. Medicine – Drop off all unused/expired medicines at local pharmacies which should, by now, have access to chemical/medical waste disposal units. There is also what is known as a take-back program which all users and role players are encouraged to use.
  21. Fruit Pits – Disposal blades, if installed, are not sharp enough to grind these. The alternative remains to discard pits in waste disposal units (or compost).
  22. Solvents – These, along with cleaning solutions, paint & oil, fall under toxic and harmful chemicals. If disposed of down drains, these will enter lakes, rivers and oceans and harm the vulnerable ecosystems of these areas.
  23. Bones – Small bone splinters will never be disposed of effectively when flushed down drain. Always scrape off used plates and dispose into compost heap.
  24. Orange and Lemon Rinds – You can recycle these as natural deodorants for the home. Disposing of these will still clog drains.
  25. Flour – Always dispose of this in a garbage disposal unit. Flour coagulates and hardens inside of drainage pipes.

Old habits die hard. But new practices require vigilance to be successful in its implementation. All it takes is to begin with a little more awareness and the job is almost half done. Think in terms of how much money it costs when your drains and pipes break down. What better way to prevent this by being more aware of what goes down the drain!

Thank you for doing your part!