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Laurel, Md. – November 23, 2022 – The last thing you need after cooking a Thanksgiving meal is a messy and expensive sewer backup. BUT that’s a real possibility if you dump grease from your feast down the drain. Follow these three simple steps so your Black Friday is all about shopping, and doesn’t turn into a Brown Friday with an unexpected visit from a plumber.

  1. CAN IT: pour grease into an empty soup can;
  2. COOL IT: put the can in the freezer or refrigerator until it hardens*; and
  3. TOSS IT: once the can is full, throw it in the trash.

can it cool it toss itIf you pour grease or food scraps, poultry skin, dressing or vegetable peels down the drain, it can harden and gel together, clogging your sewer pipes and creating a nasty and expensive sewage backup in your home! Can the Grease, instead!

Think pouring hot water down the drain will help prevent a blockage? Think again! The water may push the grease further inside the pipe, eventually hardening and 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.

About 75 percent of all sewer overflows in WSSC Water’s system are due to blockages created by grease. And 99 percent of those can be traced back to residential homes, townhomes and apartment buildings.

WSSC Water’s Fats, Oils and Grease inspection program, targeted at restaurants to ensure proper disposal, has been a huge success in preventing grease from entering the sewer system. However, the vast majority of grease-related overflows and basement backups occur in residential neighborhoods.

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

Media Note: B-roll of grease inside pipes is available for download here. WSSC Water personnel are also available for interviews.

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.