Fatbergs are increasingly becoming a problem across the Western world, in particular, largely due to changes in lifestyle. Our ancient sewers were not made to cope with today’s everyday flushaways, or the fat producing foods we consume.
As we have seen in the UK recent months, fatbergs have been hitting the national news. In December 2018, Welsh Water announced that it had removed 800 tonnes of fat from Cardiff’s sewers. Then in January 2019, a 64m (210ft) fatberg was discovered in Sidmouth, Devon.
What is a fatberg?
A fatberg is formed from the stuff we flush or pour down the drain that we shouldn’t. They are created from congealed fats tipped down the sink and waste flushed down the toilet.
Why is a fatberg a problem?
Fatbergs block our sewers. They prevent the normal, good flow of sewage to the sewage treatment centres, and instead cause a blockage. This means that everyday sewage starts to back up, and eventually has no way to get through. Ultimately, your drains will become blocked.
According to a recent report by the BBC, the UK spends around £100m each year on clearing an estimated 300,000 fatbergs!
How do you remove a fatberg?
Although various methods are in testing, for example a fat-eating bacteria developed in Germany, at the moment we rely on elbow grease. Teams of cleaners use specialist sewer jetting equipment combined with pick axes, to remove fatbergs.
It’s a case of shovels and pick-axes after that.
It is expected to take 8 weeks to remove the fatberg found in Sidmouth earlier this month.
What can we do to prevent fatbergs?
There are simple steps we can all take to help reduce the creation of fatbergs:
- Only flush away pee, poo and paper
- Dispose of wipes, sanitary wear, nappies and cotton buds in the bin, never flush them down the toilet
- After cooking, pour fat into a container and throw it away in the trash, do not pour it down the sink
- Scrape plates and dishes into the bin before washing them
How West Sussex Drains can help
As fatbergs are created from unflushables and bits of food and fat disposed of in our sinks, it may be that you have a blocked drain. If this is the case, give us a call and we will get to the bottom of the issue and clear the blockage. This will not only stop nasty smells and overflows in your home, but also help in the fight against fatbergs. Call our team 24/7, 365 days a year, on 01243 671359.