What is a Fatberg and Why are they Happening?

Fatberg: A very large mass of solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting especially of congealed fat and personal hygiene products that have been flushed down toilets.

The UK, in particularly large cities like London, have increasingly seen masses of congealed human waste, fat, oil and toilet wipes blocking sewers. Sewers are really only designed for water, toilet paper and human waste to run through, so additional waste items are causing havoc to the system.

With more and more things getting sent down drains, the congealed mass gets bigger and bigger. Fatbergs can be full of things like wet wipes, condoms, sanitary products and cotton wool, as they all get stuck to the sticky fat. As the fatberg grows bigger, there is less room for waste to pass through the pipes as it should.

Ultimately, a fatberg can block the entirety of a sewage pipe, which, unfortunately, sends everything that’s been sent to the sewers up where it came from, back to the toilets and sinks in our homes.

London has seen some of the biggest fatbergs ever. In mid-2017, the largest fatberg in the world was found in Whitechapel. This fatberg was the length of four Wembley Stadium football pitches and weighed the same as 11 double-decker London buses- it was humongous.

Luckily, the fatberg was removed by a team of eight professionals, who were working on it every day for many weeks. This was done using extremely high-powered jet hoses that were able to break up the giant fatberg into smaller, removable fatbergs. It was then sucked out by tankers and recycled in Stratford.

Unfortunately, this fatberg wasn’t the last, and many have cropped up throughout London and the rest of the UK. There is something that can be done to ensure fatbergs become a thing of the past. Even though it may seem easier to flush, binning it and sending it away to be recycled or otherwise is much better for the environment, and the health of our sewers.

Have you been flushing incriminating things down the toilet and created a blockage in your drains? At Happy Drains, we can help. Whether you know what’s wrong or not, we can send one of our contractors to quickly handle your drain emergency, identify and fix your drains issues.

For more information, or to simply talk to a member of the team about how we can help you, please get in touch with a member of the Happy Drains team today by visiting our contact page, or by giving us a call on 0800 849 8099.