The Cost Of Fatbergs

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fat clogged pipe fatberg

The giant Fatberg in London’s sewage system has been all over the news recently, and that’s not only because of the size of it, but because of the enormous cost associated in clearing it.

The Guardian says:

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.

The congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and nappies is one of the biggest ever found and would have risked raw sewage flooding on to the streets in Whitechapel, east London, had it not been discovered during a routine inspection earlier this month.

That’s a huge cost to the tax payer and is currently running at approx £1 million a month. As The Guardian reports, t’s not just a commercial waste problem, it’s a domestic one. It’s a combination of wipes and nappies being put into the waste system by domestic properties, along with people disposing of fats directly down the sink instead of into the bin.

London isn’t the only city to have such an extensive fatberg blockage in the sewer system. Baltimore has experienced the same. Vancouver, Canada has such a large problem that it spends approx $2 million each year on it. City Officials even ended up running a TV ad campaign to try and deter the inhabitants from disposing of their fats, oils and grease into the water system.

Common problem items flushed and put down the sinks include:

  • Cotton wool
  • Sanitary products
  • Baby wipes and nappies
  • Flushable toilet wipes (they do not break down as quickly as is necessary)
  • Hair
  • Dental Floss
  • Fats from cooking
  • Kitchen Towel

For more information on Fats, Oil and Grease disposal regulations, please read this article.

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