Have you heard about the big fatberg found in England’s sewers?
The previous record-holder was the size of a bus, it was reported, but this one was bigger than 11 double-decker buses, side by side. Of course, fatbergs aren’t all fat, though that’s the glue that holds it all together. It might start with a baby wipe that, despite packaging that declares it flushable, still stops up the sewer system. And then, as more flows down the sewers, it grows to grotesque proportions.
At Granger-Hunter Improvement District, we’ve long warned of F.O.G., the fats, oils, and grease that have no business going down the drain, and England’s fatbergs only prove the point. But what else wreaks havoc in our wastewater treatment plants? You might be surprised!
• Don’t put eggshells through the garbage disposal, and ultimately down the drain. While some believe it sharpens your disposal’s blades, wastewater plants tell how the fine sand of a crushed eggshell clings to the side of pipes and in time, merges with enough fat and grease to block it. Play it safe and take them out to the compost heap, along with citrus rinds, potato skins, and bones.
• The toilet is not your self-emptying garbage pail. Dead pets don’t disintegrate (and it doesn’t set live fish free, no matter what Nemo says). Neither does hair. And while those culprits are notorious for causing clogs, particularly if you have a septic tank, the real trouble-makers are prescription and OTC drugs. They work their way through the sewer and then through the wastewater plants as well, ending up in our water sources. No thanks!
• And now, getting back to those flushable wipes. In this case, a picture paints a thousand words; click here to see how they fare vs toilet paper in a simulated flush. Now imagine them as the sewer system’s magnets, clinging to the grease, hair, and eggshells we’ve been sending through the pipes. A new fatberg in the making? Not on our watch, with your help!