Think 2020 Can’t Get Any Worse? One Rookie Mistake and Raw Sewage is Entering Your Home

Cooking This Holiday: Can the Grease and Avoid a Plumbing Emergency during the Pandemic

| News Release



Even the Smallest Amount of Grease Can Harden and Cause a Sewer Backup

Laurel, Md. – November 23, 2020 – If you think 2020 can’t get any worse, think again. If you’re cooking this holiday season, WSSC Water warns never to pour leftover grease down the drain. It’s simple: Can the Grease!

Grease poured down a drain can harden in the pipes and clog the sink or worse… cause a messy and expensive sewage backup in homes. Handling cooking grease is simple:

  • CAN IT: pour grease into a soup can;
  • COOL IT: put the can in the freezer or refrigerator until it hardens (WSSC Water will send customers a special lid that fits most cans); and
  • TOSS IT: throw the can in the trash (save the lid for next time).

“With the CDC recommending against travel this holiday and urging citizens to celebrate in their own households, many people who don’t normally host a family feast could be cooking their first holiday meal,” said WSSC Water General Manager and CEO Carla A. Reid. “Avoid a rookie cooking mistake, and a possible plumbing emergency, by never pouring cooking grease down the drain.”

Nationwide, about 50 percent of all sewer overflows are caused by grease. Thanks to increased inspections, education and awareness, WSSC Water has reduced grease-related sewer overflows to less than 30 percent. The vast majority of these overflows occur in residential neighborhoods.

Running hot water after dumping grease down the drain will not prevent a blockage. The water may push the grease further inside the pipe, but eventually the grease will harden causing a sewage overflow inside a home or from a manhole – resulting in an environmental hazard with wastewater spilling into creeks, streams and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

WSSC Water customers can get more information, including a free Can the Grease lid, by visiting

WSSC Water is the proud provider of safe, seamless and satisfying water services, making the essential possible every day for our neighbors in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. We work to deliver our best because it’s what our customers expect and deserve.

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