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Sewer Systems: The 3 P’s & what you need to know!

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Where exactly does our “stuff” go when we flush?

We don’t really think about where our waste goes when we flush or even how the toilet works, for most of us. However, you may reconsider what you put in the toilet other than natural waste. Why? Because there are 2 places it can go, a county/city-maintained sewer system or an individual septic system. Today we will be discussing the sewer system. But first, let’s look at how our toilets work and know the importance of the 3 P’s in this well-crafted video.

Oh, what are the 3 P’s you ask? Pee, Poop, and “toilet” Paper. These are the ONLY things that should go in a toilet or into wastewater.

How do toilets work?

When you flush your natural waste, a sewer system and a septic system are designed to handle this waste in a particular way. When other personal items (other than natural body waste) are flushed down the toilet or put into our sinks, this causes havoc on the sewer or septic systems in place.

Now that we have a better idea of how the toilets work lets see what the sewer system actually is and how it works.

Sewer lines in and under structures pump the wastewater from that location to the county/city-maintained sewer plant, where it is treated and redistributed for public consumption. Below is an excellent video that explains the process of cleaning water and how to properly discard things that should NEVER be flushed.

Wastewater: Where does it go? By- DetroitRiverCC

You know when you are driving through an area that smells really bad? More than likely, you are near a sewer treatment plant. The municipalities try their best to control the smells; however, every once in a while, the smell is “not the sweetest.”

Now that we know how and where the wastewater goes, let’s learn how a sewer or wastewater treatment plant actually works. Here is another great video showing how the 3 P’s are treated.

How do wastewater treatment plants work? by Concerning Realty

Although you may or may not have known how toilets work or how water treatment plants operate, I believe it is essential for everyone, especially our children, to understand this process. This will help our homes function better and help prevent potential sewer or septic problems and our environment as well.

Now you should have a much better understanding of how our toilets, wastewater, and treatment plants work and why it is essential to teach our family this information. In my opinion, it should be taught in all schools.

If you can only remember that 3 P’s go into a toilet and only soap and water down the sink drain, you have learned a lot.

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out “10 Things You Need To Know About Land.” An excellent resource to add to your real estate, home, or office library... or just carry as a pocket guide!


Cheryl L. Sain has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years and has executed thousands of land transactions with investors, developers, national builders, and individuals.


This information is provided as-is and does not in any way make or imply any guarantees as to an outcome. You will need to evaluate the information herein and consult appropriate professionals such as surveyors, attorneys, tax accountants, or any other professional agencies or broker-in-charge to acquire the information and guidance you need to help you make the decision that is best for you.


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