Many major cities experience fatburgs—New York City and London have reportedly spent millions of dollars to keep sewers clear of them. Fatburgs are occurring elsewhere throughout the country and the world due to residents putting household fat, oil and grease, generally referred to as FOG down kitchen sinks and drains where it congeals and can clog sewer lines. Another more recent culprit that increases the size of these blockages are disposable wipes. They enter the sewer lines generally by being flushed down toilets. When they mix with FOG, the result is FOWG (fats, oils, wipes and grease). Even the so-called “flushable” wipes do not disintegrate rapidly and have created a false sense that it is okay to flush wipes of all kinds, when in reality, it is not.
When sewer lines get clogged with FOWG, leaks can occur, and raw sewage can back up into homes and businesses or overflow into streams and creeks through the storm drainage system that leads directly to the nearest waterway. The mixture of rain water and sewage does not first go to a water treatment plant; it dumps directly into the waterway untreated thus raising the level of fecal bacteria in the waters in which we fish, swim and use as reservoirs.
So the next time you use a disposable wipe of any kind, please dispose of it in the trash rather than flush it down the toilet or let it go down a household drain. Fatburgs don’t need any extra help in forming in your plumbing and think of the money that can be saved by eliminating FOWG!
**For a flyer on proper household grease disposal click on link below.
** For a poster that shows how wipes can clog a pipe, click on the link below