What are Fatbergs and How to Avoid Them

With the water system in the UK under a watchful eye ever since plastic bottle waste has become a disaster in Europe and the rest of the world, fatbergs are not lending a helping hand.

“A fatberg weighing the same as 11 double decker buses and stretching the length of two football pitches is blocking a section of London’s ageing sewage network.”

What are Fatbergs

A fatberg is a giant blob of gunk which gets trapped in a sewer causing a huge backlog of waste. Fatbergs are usually compiled of materials which are not easily broken down in the flushing process such as nappies, certain wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, cotton wool pad, greasy/oily foods and leftovers which are broken down by garbage disposals. They manifest in our sewers and could cause major health implications if left to build to breaking point.

How are they caused

Fatbergs are caused by a continuous flushing of items of everyday use which are not meant for sewers. These items build up after days and months which will then slow down the flow of water. Once the water has slowed down and more and more items are flushed down the same sewage pipes, a fatberg is being born. Eventually it will get to the point where no water is able to flow over or through these blobs as a combination of debris which has mixed with oil and grease, solidifies and forms a fatberg which is more or less the same texture as concrete.

How to get rid of Fatbergs

To get rid of a fatberg, maintenance workers spends hours trying to dislodge and break down the big blob by using shovels and wearing special protective suits.

The only benefit of fatbergs are its uses when it has finally been removed. Fatbergs are used to create environmentally friendly bio-diesel which can be used to power buses in the Thames water area.

But before we get excited and start frivolously flushing items down the drain, let us all try and “bin it – don’t block it” – a project initiative by Thames Water which aims to reduce the occurrence of fatbergs.

The Water Delivery Company is doing it’s part to keeping sewers clear by recycling and disposing of goods properly. If you are looking for water coolers, water fountains or sanitisation kits, look no further. You can contact us on 0330 123 3309.

The Water Delivery Company
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