Stopping Fatbergs from Forming in City Sewers

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Fatbergs are on the rise due to COVID-19.

Fatbergs are quite literally a thing of nightmares. Stopping fatbergs is imperative.

Fatbergs are mounds of congealed cooking fats, oils and grease that collect items such as wet wipes and other non-flushable items that get sent into the sewer network, to form huge blockages that restrict the flow of raw sewage—thus, sending it back up into homes, neighborhoods, and the environment through sewer overflows. These blockages become hard as concrete and frequently need to be removed by hand. The sheer mention of fatbergs will send a chill down any sanitation worker’s spine.

“A fatberg smells like rotting meat mixed with the odor of a smelly toilet,” said said Alex Saunders, sewer network manager at Thames Water. (BBC)

Stopping Fatbergs Before They Form

In order to reduce the size and frequency of fatbergs in city sewer lines, we have to start at the source—kitchens. Both residential and commercial kitchens send copious amounts of cooking fats, oils and grease down the sink and into the sewer.

Think of it this way, if you send a pan of grease down the sink after making breakfast and your neighbors all do the same, individually you might not be sending a lot but together there is a great deal of grease making its way into your neighborhood sewer line. This grease coatings the inside of the sewer line, thus restricting the flow of raw sewage. Eventually the line, and your plumbing, will become completely clogged with a fatberg and you will have raw sewage spilling out into homes, the neighborhood and environment.

If we all make the conscious decision to stop rinsing cooking oil and grease, no matter how much, we can work at stopping fatbergs from forming.

@greasehero

Never pour cooking oil and grease down the sink. Fatbergs cause sewer overflows into homes + environment. Grab a Grease Hero drain guard. 🌿 #greasehero #fatbergs #cookingathometiktoktv #cleaningtiktok #bacongrease #foryou

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Fatbergs Are Hard + Expensive to Remove

Fatbergs are hard to remove and it’s expensive too.  Most fatbergs must be removed by hand since they are as hard as concrete. A special water jet is used to break the fatberg up into smaller pieces and then those pieces are removed from the pipe by manual excavation and powerful vacuumation tanker units.

Thames Water in London spends over £1m ($1.4 million) a month removing fatbergs from across their network.

New York City spends approximately $20 million annually to clear and repair damage from fatbergs. (Water & Wastes Digest)

Stopping Fatbergs with Grease Hero

One simple way to help stop fatbergs from forming is to properly dispose of your cooking fats, oils and grease after cooking a meal. Never rinse them down the kitchen sink drain. Another easy way to make an impact, is to be mindful of what you flush down the toilet.

Grease Hero is a convenient and hassle-free way of disposing of cooking fats, oils and grease after cooking a meal. The environmentally friendly drain guard is made of recycled materials and quickly absorbs the fats, oils and grease that you pour into it directly from your cooking pan. You then simply dispose of the entire drain guard into your trash or upcycle it at your city’s recycling facility. This keeps that harmful fats, oils and grease contaminants out of your plumbing, city sewers and prevents sewer overflows into the environment.

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