210ft ‘Monster’ Fatberg in Sidmouth – Why has it happened?

South West Water has announced it is working on the removal of the 210ft (64m) fatberg in Sidmouth. But what causes these huge congealed nuisances? We can all do our bit to prevent it happening again…

Fatbergs are large masses of solid waste that can build up in sewerage systems. They started to become a recurring issue in the 2010’s for two reasons: the ageing Victorian Sewers and the rise of non-biodegradable items being flushed by the public.

Fatbergs have been the cause of major sewer blockages in London, New York, Denver, Valencia and Melbourne in the recent past. Not only are they a nuisance for the public in various ways, they draw a lot of resources and money (from us, the tax payers!) – approximately £1million per month*!

What items cause Fatberg’s?

These are the common items that a Fatberg consists of:

  • Oil and fats from cooking (that are often put down the sink after cooking)
  • Cotton wool
  • Baby wipes
  • Nappies
  • Sanitary products
  • Hair
  • Kitchen towels
  • Condoms

All of the above are the perfect storm for creating the ‘monster’ that is a Fatberg.

The ONLY things that should be flushed down the toilet are the ‘3 Ps’ – Pee, Poo and Paper.

We should all be aware!

The Fatberg issue has also brought another very pertinent point to the surface – this waste would normally be going out into our seas and inevitably onto our beaches too. Let’s spread the word about what we can and can’t put down the toilet. It’ll mean less pollution in the ocean, less sewerage blockages and less tax payers money spent on Fatbergs!

To help prevent Fatbergs we recommended placing suitable sanitary bins in every public and commercial cubicle. You can also place visible signs in your bathrooms to encourage people to use the sanitary bins provided instead of flushing them away.

For nappy waste we can provide nappy bins for baby change areas.

Learn more about our Sanitary Bin and nappy waste disposal services. We have vast experience offering washroom services to the education, hospitality, retail, healthcare and corporate industries. Hygenie Washrooms are based in Nuneaton, but work across Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford, Warwickshire, Leicester, Northampton, Nottingham and further afield.

*Servacint, 2017

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