Don’t Feed the Festive Fatberg

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Don’t let fat put a drain on your festive season! This Christmas season we urge you to be mindful of fat; and we’re not referring to waistlines. South Gippsland Water works hard to keep wastewater pipes clear and sewerage draining away from properties.

…Tipping your festive dinner fat down the sink could lead to a sticky, smelly mess you don’t want in front of the relatives. Once cooking fat cools down it solidifies, causing blockages to both household pipes and sewer systems.

If you’re lucky and it doesn’t block your pipes it can certainly block the sewer system.  Have you heard of the phenomenon of ‘fatbergs’? Water utilities in England are known to have found fatbergs that weigh as much as double decker buses in the London sewer system. These fatbergs are made up of a congealed mass of cooking fats and oils, wet wipes which have been flushed down the drain and any number of other foreign objects that don’t belong in the sewer.

South Gippsland Water’s Managing Director Philippe du Plessis said, “Thankfully, South Gippsland Water doesn’t have pipes big enough for fatbergs of this magnitude, but that doesn’t mean local systems don’t clog up. If you pour hot cooking oils down the sink, the wastewater pump stations then feel the effects, which in turn causes problems for multiple homes and the environment. The solution is simple: collect any fat in a container with a lid, or scrape grease from fry pans and the barbecue into paper towel and dispose of it in the compost or the bin. This will ensure the only jolly man in overalls that you have paying a visit this Christmas will be one bearing gifts, and not a plunger”.

Need to educate some family members of what not to put down the drain? The ‘Don’t flush it’ video is a light hearted look at what not to put down sewer systems and can be viewed on South Gippsland Water’s website.


Images: Meet the festive fatberg, please don’t feed the fatberg this Christmas season!