You may have heard that you shouldn’t flush toilet paper on the toilet on a bus or train, but you may wonder if this is true. 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 a bus or train 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 advanced system. This might be because the country is quite large or because they decided to invest the funds somewhere else.
You will mainly find these plumbing systems in America, Asia and Europe. More rural areas can have septic systems that process the wastewater locally.
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.
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.
Trains and busses don’t have these systems though. Let’s examine this further.
Can You Flush Toilet Paper on a bus or train?
The short answer is “yes”. The plumbing system in these locations is able to process toilet paper. You should find toilet paper next to the toilet and you can use it as you normally would.
Busses have tanks that store the wastewater. They have to go to a special station to drain this later on. Most busses use chemicals to make sure that the wastewater doesn’t get too dirty.
Most busses have 2 tanks to hold the wastewater. This makes sure that the smell doesn’t spread over the bus. The driver can empty the content of the main tank to a holding tank.
This keeps the toilet smelling fresh. If both tanks get full, the toilet can start to smell. Toilets on a bus have a limited amount of wastewater that they can process.
Some drivers therefore ask that you only use the toilet if you really need to.
Some trains dispose the wastewater on the tracks. Newer trains tend to have a tank as well. These have to be cleaned in a central station.
Just make sure that you don’t use paper that is too cheap. You can test this by dipping it in water three times and see if the toilet paper dissolves. If it doesn’t, it can indicate that you should get other toilet paper as it might clog your drains.
You can’t flush wet wipes or paper towels though as these don’t dissolve in the toilet drains and can cause clogs. A plumber might have to remove these with heavy equipment.
The same is true in other countries as toilet systems are not designed to flush these items. For this reason, you should only flush toilet paper and no other types of paper. This is the case for any toilet though as they are not designed to deal with items that don’t dissolve in water.
Plumbers often get called out to fix clogs that have been caused by wet wipes. This can create a lot of damage so this should be avoided at all costs. You also shouldn’t flush food scraps, cooking oils or other waste. These should go in the bin.
Do they use toilet paper in buses or trains?
Yes, they use toilet paper in a bus or train. 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.
Make sure to clean up after you have used the toilet in a bus or train. Other people have to use it as well.
When you are travelling, there can be a long time between the two stops. Luckily most trains and busses have a toilet.
In a bus, the toilet is generally in the middle or end. You might have to ask the driver to unlock it for you. Other than this, you can just open the door and lock it behind you. It is best to sit as you don’t know how the bus will move.
Not every bus has a toilet. On some busses it is not allowed to do number 2 as this can result in a smelly mess.
Some busses have a stainless steel floor. This makes it easier to keep it clean.
Make sure that the driver doesn’t turn off the engine as you might end up in a dark toilet.
On a train, there are often signs where the toilets are located. Sometimes you have to press a button to open and close the door. In other instances, you have to pull the door open. You can generally flush by using a foot pedal. Don’t forget to close the door after you have used the toilet!