What is a Fatberg?

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Last updatedLast updated: February 28, 2023
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The most common definition of a fatberg is; a large mass of waste made up of personal hygiene products and congealed fat. It starts to form when you flash things down your toilet or dispose of stuff down your kitchen sink. The most common types of wastes include wet wipes, cotton ear buds or balls, condoms and female sanitary products. These when combines with the tea bags, food scraps, cooking oil and coffee grounds create a fatberg and block up your pipes.

Fatbergs are a huge deal and have even made it to the news in the past. They have formed in sewers worldwide and are more rampant because of the rise in usage of disposable or flushable cloths. They are pretty expensive to remove hence the rise in public awareness campaigns about flushable waste. What is a fatberg? Read on for a detailed definition and how you can prevent one from forming and blocking your local sewer system.

Fatberg: the definition

What is a Fatberg?A fatberg is a solid mass of waste that forms in a sewer system. It usually consists of non-biodegradable solids like wet wipes, cotton balls and congealed grease. A fatberg will mostly form at the rough surface of a sewer that experiences a turbulent fluid flow.

If there is any obstruction in the sewer system then debris is likely to get snagged. Even the smoothest systems can always get foreign intrusions like tree roots which can cause a fatberg blockage.

A fatberg can cause serious blockages in sewer systems. They can also react with the lining of the sewer’s pipe. The grease and fat blockages can cause a sewer overflow, discharging untreated sewage into the environment.

On the bright side, fatberg can be used as a source of fuel. It can be converted into biodiesel.

How to prevent fatbergs from building up

Various water corporations across the globe have resolved to roll out educative campaigns to increase awareness of Fatberg with the hope of eradicating the issue completely. The campaigns aim at educating people on proper waste disposal and the key ingredients of a fatberg.

Here are some crucial steps in preventing a fatberg:

Dispose your wet wipes in a garbage bin. Whether the manufacturer states that the wipes are flushable or not, always throw your wipes in the garbage bin. They do not dissolve like toilet paper.

Remove cooking oil and fats from dishes before cleaning them. All the unwanted grease, oil or fats should be disposed in the bin. You can pour them in a tin if you dread the mess it would cause.

Dispose all your personal hygiene products in the bin. These include razors, sanitary products, nappies, and cotton buds or balls.

Chemicals like paint, fertilizers, pesticides and cleaning products should all be disposed of at a hazardous waste station drop-off at your local tip.

Dispose your engine oils at an oil recycling center. You can also check with your local tip on how to best dispose of it.

Unless you want to complain about your municipality raising rates every other time, you must be careful enough to flush nothing but toilet paper down your toilet. You can invest in the best trash can for your bathroom disposables. Go for easy to use models like popular ELPHECO 2.5-gallon bathroom trash can. It is water-resistant and features a smart sensor that keeps the lid open as long as you hand is around it. It is also perfect for odor control and will look good in your bathroom.

As for the kitchen, you can opt for a garbage disposal that grinds waste like the famous InSinkErator Garbage Disposal. It boasts a rugged steel body that will grind your waste with ease. It is also very straightforward to use.

What is a Fatberg?Final thoughts

Now you know what a sewer fatberg is. There is a rise in Fatberg cases all over the world because of the new disposable hygiene products like diapers and wet wipes. No matter what the manufacturer suggests you do with these products after use avoid at all costs, flushing them down your precious smart toilet. Only toilet paper has the ability to dissolve.

Fatbergs can be mitigated by public awareness campaigns about flushable waste and proper disposal. There are a few campaigns that have been launched about wipes and their effect on sewer systems. Since it is expensive to remove fatbergs, the campaigns are important. The only good thing about a fatberg is that it can be converted into biodiesel to be used as fuel.

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