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What is a Fatberg?

2nd October 2019

What is a Fatberg?

During October we are going to be talking about all things drains, sewers, sea's, what to do & what not to do!

Lets start with fatbergs..

What is a fatberg?

A fatberg is a congealed mass in a sewer system formed by the combination of non-biodegradable solid matter, such as wet wipes, and congealed grease or cooking fat. Fatbergs became a problem in the 2010s in England, because of ageing Victorian sewers and the rise in usage of disposable (so-called flushable) cloths.

The sewer equivalent of an iceberg, which can include any or all of the following:

  • Fats
  • Oils
  • Grease
  • Sanitary products
  • Wet wipes
  • Condoms
  • Cotton buds
  • Nappies and pads
  • Bandages and plasters
  • Medicines
  • Razor blades

How do fatbergs build up?

The combination of solidified fat and single-use plastic items continue to build underground, blocking systems until the pipes can no longer cope.

These items are described as ‘unflushables’: Wet wipes, sanitary towels, nappies & cotton wool.

How can we prevent fatbergs from forming?

It's actually quite easy - 'Bin it, don't block it!'

Anything other than human waste and toilet paper should not be flushed down the toilet. Everything else should be binned as even wipes labelled as flushable contain plastic that doesn’t break down in the sewer in the same way toilet paper does.

Make sure cooking fat is cooled and put in the bin – rather than poured down the drain.

How to get rid of a fatberg?

It's simple really, give Metro Rod Cumbria a call on 01228 648050

We use powerful, state-of-the-art equipment to get fatbergs out of the drains and sewers.

First we have to break the fatberg up into smaller chunks. To do this, we use special high power water jets.

The broken up fatberg pieces are then removed from the pipe by manual excavation, powerful vacuumation tanker units, or a combination of both.

If we all pull together we could all make a huge difference to our drains, sewers & sea's! Not only is this better for the environment it would also mean that marine life/sea creatures are safer! That’s because animals mistake plastic for food & because it can’t be digested, once an animal eats plastic it remains in the gut, potentially leading to a slow and painful death.


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