Fats, Oils and Grease
Overflows and sewer backups are commonly caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG). FOG gets into the sewer from household drains and neglected grease interceptors at businesses such as restaurants. The FOG blocks sewer pipes, causing health hazards and leading to expensive fixes.

Using the garbage disposal does not alleviate FOG from entering your drain and sticking to the sides of your pipes leading from the house to the street. Likewise, the dishwasher only cleans dishes, it does not remove grease. Running hot water down the sink with grease only pushes the grease further down the pipes which compounds the problem.

When cooking, remember to protect your pipes and keep the following out of the dishwasher and the drain.

Fats: Solid at room temperature Oils: Liquid at room temperature Grease: Liquid when cooking and solid when cooled 
  • Butter
  • Shortening
  • Peanut butter
  • Meat trimmings
  • Vegetable oil
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Salad dressing
  • Cooking oil
  • Bacon fat
  • Sausage fat
  • Gravy
  • Mayonnaise


Wet Wipes
Also known as "flushable" wipes cause millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure in the United States each year. These wipes can mix with the FOGs in plumbing and create large sewer blocks.

Wipes are often marketed as a good alternative to toilet paper but in fact, wet wipes or “flushable” wipes are wreaking havoc on sewer systems. It's a common misconception that wipes break down like traditional 2-ply toilet paper. Since the wipes do not break down, this requires crews to unclog pipes and pumps as well as replace and upgrade machinery.

Wipes are found in many varieties such as baby wipes, personal care wipes, cleaning and dusting wipes, all-purpose wipes and even make-up remover wipes. All these products should be placed in the trash when you are done using them instead of flushing them down the toilet. Help protect your household pipes and ours by keeping wipes out of the toilet.

Household Hazardous Waste Materials
Household hazardous waste is any waste produced in the home that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or environment. These materials should never be poured down the drain. Examples include oil-based paints, photographic chemicals, windshield washer fluid, chemicals and cleaners. A full list is available on the Loudoun County Government's website

Loudoun County conducts several household hazardous waste collection events throughout the year for used and unwanted household hazardous materials. Information about these events is located on their website.

Unwanted or Unused Medications
It used to be common practice to flush unwanted or unused medication down the drain or toilet. However, this is no longer the case. This can sometimes lead to problems like water pollution as most medications are not completely removed by the wastewater treatment process or septic systems. 

Instead, bring your medication to one of several drop boxes in Loudoun County.