Miami-Dade sewer officials are warning residents of potential plumbing problems during the holidays when waste water sewage pipes often fill with even more debris.
"People think it's OK to treat your toilet as a garbage can, that is not the case," said Jennifer Messemer-Skold, with Miami-Dade Water and Sewer.
Messemer-Skold says the biggest problem is wipes: baby wipes, adult wipes, household cleaning wipes. And those advertised as flushable are likely not, officials say.
South Miami-Dade homeowner Ali Haas, knows it, and wishes others would too.
"I have heard stories where people have had to hire plumbers because of it, so my husband is a big wipe user and we don't that around here," Haas said.
Cleaning and maintaining Miami-Dade's system runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the holidays are even worse.
"There are more Betty Crockers and want to be Martha Stewarts in the kitchen this time of year, myself included, so what happens, the more you cook the more times you're going to have grease building up in your pots and pans, and unfortunately a lot of people put it right down the drain," Messemer-Skold said.
That clogs the pipes, so does clothing, general garbage and rags. Items flushed down the toilet clog up the system and require a fix, which wouldn't be necessary if people were mindful of what's going down their toilets.
"If you change some simple habits at home you will make the improvements that we are making for our community, our $13.5 million capital improvement plan lasts decades and decades to come," Messemer-Skold said.