Protect Our Local Water Supply and Keep Your Community Safe

DEA’s National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, Sept. 26

| News Release



Laurel – September 22, 2015 – This Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the public is encouraged to safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications at over 50 locations throughout the Washington, D.C. region. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a nationwide event to promote the safe disposal of expired and unwanted medications.

WSSC is again supporting the DEA initiative to promote safe disposal of drugs and convey the impact of drugs on our nation’s water supply. The presence of such drugs in WSSC’s drinking water sources are not currently a concern, but beyond a doubt, the safe disposal of drugs has nationwide benefit, and is crucial to preserving the quality of our local water source.

“At WSSC, we take pride in returning water back into the environment cleaner than what we take into our system,” says Jerry Johnson, WSSC’s GM and CEO. “Protecting the quality of our water is a community priority and this drug take back day is a great reminder of our collective responsibility.”

The service is free and anonymous. WSSC’s police force will be accepting prescription and over-the-counter drugs at its headquarters: 14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, MD 20707. To find the nearest medication disposal site, visit

For those who can’t make it to the take-back locations this Saturday, a list of permanent, secure disposal locations in the region is posted at

The initiative is being promoted in the National Capital Region by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) and regional partners, including law enforcement agencies, water utilities and health officials.

In cities and towns which have sewer systems that connect to a wastewater treatment plant, prescription and over-the-counter drugs poured down the sink or flushed can eventually pass into rivers and lakes. For septic tanks, prescription and over-the-counter drugs flushed down the toilet can leach into the ground and seep into groundwater. The potential environmental and health consequences of prescription and over-the-counter drugs in drinking water sources are continuously being studied by state and federal environmental and health regulatory agencies.

With the exception of controlled substances, many unwanted medicines can be discarded with household trash by following the instructions below. If you are unsure if your medication is a controlled substance, consult a licensed pharmacist or check local laws to determine if trash disposal is an option.

  1. Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
  2. Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
  3. Put mixture into a disposable container that can be sealed, like a plastic bag.
  4. Conceal or remove any personal information on empty containers, including Rx number, by covering it with permanent marker or scratching it off.

For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.


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