Thames Water recently reported finding the biggest fatberg in the country scaling the size of a red London double-decker bus within drains in Kingston, Surrey. However, London Drainage Facilities (LDF) says it’s not these huge fatbergs that should be concerning home and business owners; its the smaller fatbergs forming in drainage networks underneath their properties.
LONDON, ENGLAND, AUGUST 2013
It’s estimated that Britons pour 15 million cups of fat down the kitchen sink on Christmas Day alone, with millions of cups more throughout the year. All this will transform into a hard soapy material that will block drains and sewers, which has led to fatbergs becoming a common phenomenon throughout the country.
Increasingly, drainage engineers have to deal with an upsurge in sewer blockages, many caused by grease, fat, or oil solidifying in pipes.
Thames Water estimates that 7,000 of the 80,000 yearly blockages are as a result of grease fat and oil blockages.
It’s calculated that the cost of removing fat, oil and grease from sewer pipes adds up to £50m a year to household bills.
It gets worse if you are in the restaurant trade, as a messy closure of an establishment due to blocked sinks and toilets affects both income and reputation.
Danny Fuller, Managing Director of LDF, said: “Fatbergs are the new ‘Titanic’ for householders and businesses that can sink daily business operations or cause sewage to flood homes.
We advise all domestic households to pour their fat and oil into a container, and leave it to cool and solidify. Once solidified, they should scrape it out into a sealed bag and put it in the bin. And of course, they should avoid putting other items down the drains that could end up being glued into an ever expanding mass that eventually will block the flow.
Restaurant and business owners should build in a regular maintenance programme to ensure that drains are free flowing. Whilst LDF can provide CCTV Drainage Surveys, regular maintenance programmes prevent drains from getting clogged up. After all, prevention is better than cure!”