Fatbergs choke city sewers
Water authorities say ‘fatbergs’ are worse in winter.
Fatbergs are congealed masses of fat, debris and ‘flushable’ wipes that gather together to block drains and sewerage systems around the world.
Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) spokesperson Sally Prosser says almost all water networks suffer from the high proportion of households that pour cooking oils down the sink.
“Last financial year, fatbergs were directly to blame for more than 360 blockages so that's almost one fatberg blockage for every day of the year,” she told reporters.
Ms Prosser said the cooler winter conditions mean there are far more blockages during those months.
“Fatbergs are a big problem, and it is not just for our network but for your household pipes too,” she said.
“In winter, our pipes are colder and so fat solidifies a lot faster.”
Ms Prosser said instead of pouring fats and oils down the sink, they should be allowed to cool and wiped out of the pan or collected in a container before being put in the bin.
“There are simple things people can do around their house to stop your winter warmers becoming a titanic fatberg problem,” Ms Prosser said.
“Fatbergs are smelly and disgusting so spare a thought for the people who have to clear them out from our sewage network every day.
“We are waste water treaters ... we are not garbage collectors so the sink or the toilet should not be treated like a rubbish bin,” Ms Prosser said.