What happens after you flush the toilet?

Updated July 02, 2018
What happens after you flush the toilet?
Ron Kerin wanted to know what happened after he flushed the toilet. Where does the waste go when it leaves his home? And why was he hearing so much about fruit labels?

To answer these and other questions, Ron joined about 22 other residents in a two-hour tour of the Pleasant Grove Wastewater Treatment plant at one of our tours.

These tours, new in 2017, are being offered to answer questions residents may have about those facilities. Utility Exploration Center interpretive specialists Melissa Kinsey and Brayden Mitchell led the tour Ron took.

“I came away from the tour with a better understanding of how these fruit labels, Q-tips, dental floss and flushable wipes were causing problems for the wastewater-treatment plants,” Ron said. “I didn’t know those things don’t break down in the system. I didn’t know those things could cause the Environmental Utilities' equipment to break down.”

Ron had another reason for going on the tour: he wanted to see how the money he sends Environmental Utilities each month is being spent. And he came away a big believer.

“People always complain that their taxes and their utility bills are too high,” he said. “My view is, ‘show me what I’m paying for’ and I can decide if my money is being well-spent.”

“The tour showed me that my money was being well spent,” Ron continued. “For a lot of people, what happens after they finish using the toilet is ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ But during the tour, we were told that when people do that, fatbergs are created.”

“I had never heard the term ‘fatberg’ before,” Ron continued. “But that’s what happens when people flush things down the toilet that don’t belong there. We don’t want fatbergs clogging up our community’s pipes. So please don’t flush anything down your toilet except poop, pee and toilet paper!”

For more information about our wastewater tours, visit Roseville.ca.us/planttours.

Featured Stories