You may have heard that you shouldn’t flush toilet paper in the toilet, but you may be confused about why. After all, it’s just a big old bowl with water and some sort of magical flushing device on top. It can handle TP, right?
If you’re thinking about going to visit Costa Rica and San José and wondering if you can flush toilet paper in the restrooms there or not, then this article is for you. Keep reading to find out!
What Is the Big Deal with Flushing Toilet Paper?
Toilet paper is generally made of either paper or a combination of paper and cardboard. Toilet paper is specifically designed to wipe away solid waste and clean your delicate areas. Toilet paper dissolves in water and can often be flushed.
This requires an advanced system of drains and wastewater processing facilities though. These wastewater processing facilities make sure that the dirty water doesn’t get into the local rivers as this can cause a lot of problems.
If these facilities have to process toilet paper as well, they have to be more advanced and this requires a big investment.
Not every country or city has this system. This might be because the country is quite large or because they decided to invest the funds somewhere else.
This is why you might see a warning sign above toilets in Costa Rica and San José you are not allowed to flush toilet paper.
You should dispose of the toilet paper in a bin. This bin is regularly cleaned. The dirty toilet paper is thrown away with the trash. It can take some getting used to at first but it is important that you do this as it can cause a lot of problems if you don’t.
In some areas of the world, the width of the drains is not big enough and toilet paper would clog them. Wastewater would back up and make the toilet overflow. This can result in wastewater all over the house.
It is also possible that their septic system can’t handle toilet paper.
Next to bad smells, it also results in a dirty house. When those pieces of toilet paper break down, they create a very thick, sludgy substance that winds up jamming your household pipes and the local sewage systems. When these materials enter the sewer system, they cause major problems.
In some instances, it can be removed by flushing a lot but this is not always the case. A plumber will have to come out to clear the drains with a water jetter or an auger.
This costs quite a lot of money. If there is a big clog, it might be needed to dig up the drain and open it up. This is a lot of work and can result in a big expense. This is why restaurants and hotels in Costa Rica and San José warn you that it isn’t allowed to flush toilet paper. You might get in trouble if they catch you doing it anyway.
Can You Flush Toilet Paper in Costa Rica and San José?
The short answer is “no”. Flushing toilet paper is actually not allowed in pretty much every public restroom in Costa Rica and San José.
You should dispose of the toilet paper in a bucket this is standing next to the toilet. In some hotels, you can flush the toilet paper but always ask before doing this!
So, when you go to the restroom in a public place and see signs that say “no flushing toilet paper” or “no TP flush”, you should listen and don’t do it.
You might think that “no flush” just means that you can’t flush toilet paper, but you can’t flush anything down the toilet. That includes items such as sanitary napkins, wet wipes, paper towels, and so on. These items can’t be flushed in any country though as they don’t break down and can cause clogs.
Plumbers often get called out to remove clogs that have been caused by wet wipes. It can be indicated on the packaging that you can flush them but most plumbers advise against it. They dissolve too slowly and cause a lot of problems. Especially if you have a septic system, you should be careful with this.
Do they use Toilet Paper in Costa Rica and San José?
Yes, they use toilet paper in Costa Rica and San José. You should find it in every toilet stall. You can ask for more if it has run out.
It is the same quality that you are used to at home so you will have a similar experience. Just throw the used toilet paper in the bin instead of the toilet bowl.
As in most countries in Central America, it is possible to use toilet paper in Costa Rica. You can’t flush it though as the sanitary system hasn’t been designed for this.
You can find historical items when you visit this country. The museums are worth the small fee that they require.
Costa Rica spends a lot of time making sure that tourism is durable. They try to do this by recycling as much as possible.
Costa Rica is very popular amongst tourists. You should avoid locations that are too touristy as these can slow you down and they tend to overcharge you.
This beautiful country has a lot to offer. It only has 2 seasons: dry and rainy season. Luckily you can get a lot of sun during the rainy season as well.
In October they have a lot of rain so you might want to avoid going there during this month.
When it comes to public restrooms, you should always follow the rules that are posted. In the restrooms in Costa Rica and San José, you shouldn’t flush toilet paper.
Enjoy your trip to this magnificent country!