130 Ton “Fatberg” plugs up Whitechapel Sewer

People say never to flush things like wet wipes down the toilet, they don’t degrade quickly and can cause a clog. So what happens when people don’t listen and flush this stuff anyway? One word — Fatberg.

Liam Hall

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The Whitechapel Fatberg — Photo Credit

Everyone has probably been told a few times when they are younger what is safe and not safe to flush down the toilet. No paper towels, wet wipes, condoms, etc. These items just down break down fast enough (or at all), and can cause a clog in the sewer lines and cause a big headache for water treatment plants.

Another thing never to flush down the toilet, or drain down your sink is grease and oils. Especially any grease that is solid at room temp.

Now that we are clear on what we shouldn’t be flushing; most of us have flushed things that we shouldn’t have.

The Evidence

Fatberg.

Who wants dip?— Photo Credit

All of that crap going into the sewer can create a blockage, with older pipes and sewers being the biggest victim of the Fatbergs. The often rougher walls of the older sewers offer ample places for things to snag, creating a whirlpool that can cause other flotsam to get caught. The build-up gets buffed up with the grease from the bacon you cooked in the morning. Then Uncle Biff takes a massive number 2 in your toilet (not cool, Biff), while you try and plunge a pork roast down the can. (All this and more can be found in your sewage system!)

And we are left with a big, massive, shitty, greasy clog in the pipes, and it's only lunchtime. By dinner time, everyone on the neighborhood's sewage system has taken their first dump of the day and done some laundry or dishes. And some asshole just flushed a condom.

So the blockage now has the perfect conditions for saponification, which is the conversion of fats and oils into soap. This isn’t any Dove soap or Irish Spring. I guarantee they smell much better.

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Liam Hall

I like to write about crime, among other things. Studying computer security. Join Medium using my referral link https://zeph456.medium.com/membership