Can the Grease - Prevents Sewer Backups

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Leesburg Wants You to “Can the Grease”

Grease can -color

The Town of Leesburg Department of Utilities identifies What Not to Flush to help prevent sewage from backing up into homes and businesses.

The Town of Leesburg Department of Utilities wants to provide homeowners, businesses, and restaurants with the information they need to protect their pipes, their homes, their wallets, and the environment, from sewage backups.

There are many things that can go wrong in a house or a business, but few are more troubling than sewage backing up into the basement. Sewer system overflows are a national problem, with up to 75,000 major events reported annually to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fortunately, most sewer backups are preventable, if homeowners and business owners take a few simple, precautionary steps.

The easiest action that residents and businesses can take is to simply “Can the Grease” by storing greases or oils in a soup can and disposing of the can in the garbage instead of pouring greases or oils down the drain. Most people do not realize that this one simple step can potentially save them from messy and unhealthy sewer backups. It can also prevent thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater from reaching the nation’s waterways.

The following tips are offered to help “Can the Grease”:

• Scrape grease and food scraps into the trash.
• Put baskets / strainers in sinks to catch food scraps.
• Toss vegetable scraps on a compost heap or into the trash.
• Do not use the garbage disposal to get rid of peelings, food scraps, etc.
• Never pour kitchen greases or oils down the drain, as even hot water will not wash them completely away. The greases and oils will cool and solidify in the sewer lines potentially creating an obstruction.
• Pour cooled greases or oils into a can and discard in the trash.
• See additional tips.

Residents and businesses can contact the Leesburg Department of Utilities at (703) 771-2750 for more information or to invite a speaker to their school or association meeting.

grease lid


With more than 218 miles of water lines and over 176 miles of sewer pipeline throughout our service area, Leesburg’s Department of Utilities appreciates notification from the public if you suspect a sanitary sewer overflow or back-up. Call (703) 771-2750 during normal business hours or call the police non-emergency number at (703) 771-4500 after hours and weekends. Town staff is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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