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What Is A Fatberg?

Feb 14, 2021
What Is A Fatberg?

You know what an iceberg is, but have you heard of a fatberg? Maybe you have heard of the infamous 130-ton fatberg in London named “Fatty McFatberg.” A fatberg is a stomach-churning mass of solid waste that clogs sewer lines and sewer systems. They are made of non-biodegradable matter including, but not limited to, wet wipes, cotton balls, and congealed fats, oils, and greases. They are as dangerous as they are gross. In this article brought to you by Neighborhood Plumbing, we will go over the fatberg, its causes, some preventative measures against it, and how to deal with it. If you have any questions or want to hire a certified plumber, then call Neighborhood Plumbing today.

What Causes a Fatberg?

A fatberg is a rock-like mass of hardened waste that clogs the sewer system. It is made of a mixture of non-biodegradable solids and congealed fats, oils, and greases. The non-biodegradable matter is usually wet wipes, “flushable” wipes, plastic bags, cotton balls, hygiene products, and similar items. These debris get stuck in the sewer line and are cemented together by congealed fats, oils, and greases that act as adhesives. This mass gets more dense and larger over time as pressure and new debris builds on it.

The Risk of a Fatberg

In essence, a fatberg is a serious obstruction in the sewer line. It is very likely going to cause a severe blockage and present the usual symptoms of a clog. These include slow drainage, gurgling sounds, foul odors, and water or sewage backups. The piping around the fatberg is susceptible to corrosion, rust, and damage. Combined with the increase in water pressure around the area, you are looking at a risk of leaks and burst pipes.

How to Prevent A Fatberg

Your drains should never be mistaken for trash bins. Unless you look forward to dealing with a fatberg, you should be very mindful of what you allow into your drains. We recommend that you install drain filters and a garbage disposal, but do not over rely on these devices. 
Avoid flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper. That means no wet wipes, supposedly flushable wipes, paper towels, or hygiene products in the toilet bowl. Keep food scraps out of the kitchen sink. Toss them in a trash or compost bin instead. Used fats, oils, and greases are especially problematic. Do not pour them into the drains! Instead, let them cool, store them in a separate container, and throw them into the trash later or recycle them.

Getting Rid of a Fatberg

Basic clogs can be handled with a drain snake or plunger, but a fatberg is going to require powerful and sophisticated equipment. Certified plumbers have the tools to locate the fatberg and break it down into smaller chunks that are easier to remove. If you would like to hire a nearby plumber for this job, then call Neighborhood Plumbing. Our certified plumbers have the necessary experience and equipment, and we are available around the clock to take your call.

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