Can you flush toilet paper on the Azores? The BEST Answer

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 the Azores 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!

If you are planning on going on a trip and heading to the Azores, then here are some things that will help you find out if it is okay to flush TP in the public restrooms there or not. Let’s dive in.

Why is it not always possible to flush 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.

Wastewater treatment facility. Image by PlumbingInstantFix. All rights reserved.

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. In the Azores, it is quite hard to install plumbing given the volcanic nature of the soil.

Drains are often buried under the ground so that people don’t fall over them. For this reason, it is quite difficult to install a plumbing system in this area.  

This is why you might see a warning sign above toilets in the Azores as 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. 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 on the Azores are warning 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 on the Azores?

The short answer is “no”. Flushing toilet paper is actually not allowed in pretty much every public restroom on the Azores. 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 should dispose of the toilet paper in a bin next to the toilet as the drains can’t handle 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. 

In most instances, it will be indicated next to the toilets that you can’t use toilet paper. You might not speak Portuguese but they will often add a symbol as well to further explain it. 

Do they use toilet paper in The Azores?

Yes, toilet paper is used in The Azores. It is found in most hotels and restaurants and can be bought in stores. Just make sure that you don’t flush it!

The Azores can be incredibly beautiful to visit.  They are autonomous regions of Portugal. If you want to know where the toilets are, you will have to ask the following: “onde fica o banheiro”. Once you have found the toilet, it is important that you follow the local rules that require that you don’t throw the toilet paper in the toilet bowl. 

While in other Portuguese cities such as Lisbon you can flush toilet paper without any issue, this is not the case for the Azores. 

When it comes to public restrooms, you should always follow the rules that are posted. In the restrooms on the island, you shouldn’t flush toilet paper. Besides being environmentally harmful, it is also against the law.

So, if you want to do the right thing and help clean up the city, you should always throw toilet paper in the trash can. Furthermore, you should never flush sanitary napkins either. These items are intended to be thrown away, not flushed. 

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This might be weird at first but you will get used to it. Enjoy your trip to this special island!