They are known as fatbergs. Some people wonder what they are whilst others assume they’ve got something to do with oil fat. Hoping to spare you the time from running a Google search. A Fatberg is believed to be a solidified blob or drop of fat and grease. This tends to end up in the sewer and mixes up with other waste items that are discharged into the drain.
A Fatberg is generally believed to be caused by residues of oil, fat, grease, dental floss, sanitary items and wet wipes. These items fail to break down as easily as toilet paper. Fatbergs attracted so much publicity, in an unprecedented moment of stardom during the 2013 blockage in Kingston upon Thames. The highpoint of the Fatberg incident in Kingston was that the waste removed which weighed about 10-tonnes, similar to the size of a double-decker bus.
Whilst you might be aware of the above, it is very important to understand that at present, a wet wipe is believed to be the biggest villain in relation to fat trap. In a simple manner, the flushing of a wet wipe is now considered to be one of the biggest causes of Fatbergs.
The one important thing you need to know about Fatbergs is not just the increasing impact wet wipes plays, but the fact that most of these wipes are labelled as flushable. Regardless of this message from wet wipe manufacturers, it is advisable to opt for the bin. As stated earlier, these wipes do not easily disintegrate like tissue paper.
In the words of Hu Shih: “And revolutions always mean the breakdown of old authority.” The old way of doing things entail the flushing of wet wipes. We do this without thinking of the adverse impacts it would have on our sewers. Wet wipes tend to make fatberg bigger and leaving us with the same old problem of an overflowing sewer. This leaves the government with no option than to rip out footpaths and parks to get rid of this menace out.
This is not just a tip of the Fatberg, sorry Iceberg- it is crucial if we are to prevent sewer overflow. At Hydro Cleansing, we are leading experts in Fatberg removal. Our super combination tankers can break down the build-up and suck back into the high capacity tanker. Call us on 0800 740 888 for expert advice and a free quote.
In 2013, a team of sewerage workers took over three weeks to clear a huge fatberg, believed to be equal to the size of a bus. The initial sign of danger came about when local residents in a block of flats, around the royal borough main sewer, complained about a challenge in flushing their toilets. The gravity of the issue was laid bare when it was revealed that the fatberg, largely made up of solidified grease and oil, obstructed 95% of the 2.4-meter diameter, brick sewer pipe. It is believed by environmental experts that the royal borough of Kingston came close to being flooded with sewage.
It might be useful to have a simple definition of fatberg. Fatberg is viewed as a solidified lump of fat, wet wipes, sanitary items and similar elements found in a sewer system. These items do not break down like toilet paper, hence they become congealed or solidified.
It is commonly believed by sewage and water companies that fatbergs are becoming more frequent. In the UK, London seems to have the highest concentration of food businesses and tends to create an estimated 32m-44m litres of used cooking oil yearly. It is believed that much of this cooking oil is poured down the drains. There is also the increasing use of wet pipes which could have implications below ground level.
On the 30th of April, a team of drainage engineers from Hydro Cleansing, went down to the Trocadero to work on a foul drain. The Trocadero in London has been a popular entertainment complex, but it is currently being looked at converting into one of West end’s biggest budget hotel. The team of drainage engineers from Hydro Cleansing, used a super combination unit, CCTV unit and a support van with a 50 meters of 4” vacuum hose, to clean out a 40 meters of 9 and 12” foul water pipe.
In accordance with good practice, the fatberg and drainage team, removed the fat from the pipe, to prevent it from growing into fatberg, which could lead to sewage flooding. To ensure the job was carried out to the highest standard, the super combination unit was required to reverse into the building and the vacuum hose was lowered down about 20 meters to support the rope.
The job was carried out by Hydro Cleansing, with environmental safety as a priority. Understanding the importance of preventing a fatberg from developing similar to that at the royal borough of Kingston was important. It was also important to ensure that the fat was extracted from the water pipe and cleaned to a high level.
We are passionate about the environment and our Fatberg and Grease trap emptying divisions, are equipped to provide you with comprehensive service and maintenance of your pipes and sewer systems. You can contact our dedicated team on 020 8689 3339.