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What Is a Fatberg?

What Is a Fatberg?

Think iceberg, but fats and gunk instead of ice. A fatberg is a recently coined term, referring to a mass of non-biodegradable matter causing serious blockages in sewage systems. A fatberg can easily weigh tens or even hundreds of tons. As you can imagine, a fatberg is a big problem for plumbers. Fortunately, awareness campaigns and modern tools and technology are tackling the problem head on. In this article, we will review the recent history of fatbergs, how we deal with them, and how you can help prevent them in the first place. If you are dealing with a clogged drain, sewer line, or plumbing system, then feel free to call Mr. Rooter Plumbing to schedule a clogged drain repair or drain cleaning today.

The History of Fatbergs

The word fatberg was coined only a little over a decade ago in 2008, referring to a new-found pollution on Newborough Beach. The word is a compound of the words fat and iceberg as the notorious fatberg is made up of mostly fats, oils, and greases which bind together masses of non-biodegradable items, forming a massive, rugged iceberg-like structure.

There are nearly two dozen notable fatbergs ranging from a ton to over 400 tons in weight. They can be as large as a few football fields in length! A fatberg of congealed fat was discovered in 2017 under the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. It caused the spillage of 1.2 million gallons of sewage! The other notable fatberg found in the United States was discovered in Michigan a year later. It was 100 feet long, 11 feet wide, and 6 feet tall! A majority of the famous fatbergs have been found in the United Kingdom.

How to Get Rid of Fatbergs

Considering the sheer size of most fatbergs, getting rid of one is certainly not a do-it-yourself project. Plus, these are usually found in the sewer main on public property. Still, severe blockages like fatbergs can form in your sewer line! A fatberg removal requires powerful equipment and the expertise of an expert plumber. The key is to break down the fatberg into manageable chunks that are easier to remove. It can take months and even years to get rid of large fatbergs. Therefore, we urge property owners to prevent fatbergs rather than deal with them.

How to Prevent Fatbergs

Be mindful of what goes down your drains, through the sewer line, and into the sewer main. You should not flush anything and everything. In fact, you should ONLY flush toilet paper, pee, and poo. That means NO wet wipes, paper towels, hygiene products, kitty litter, diapers, and so forth. Toss those in the trash instead! Further, keep used fats, oils, and greases OUT of the kitchen sink. These will harden in the drains and act as the starting point of fatbergs. Schedule professional drain cleaning once every few years to keep your plumbing system clear!

Need Urgent Plumbing Repair? Call Now

Are you dealing with a blockage in your plumbing system? Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing to schedule an appointment or request an emergency plumbing repair service today. Our live representatives and dedicated plumbers are on standby to take your call.