SlateOnly You Can Prevent Fatbergs
Fatberg removal costs have doubled over the past decade in NYC. Flushable wipes and bacon grease are to blame.
You really shouldn’t pour bacon grease down the sink. That and other stuff flushed down residential plumbing drains is contributing to a rather gross and increasingly prevalent problem: floating blobby masses of trash in the sewers known as “fatbergs.” They’ve popped up in Charleston, Baltimore, and London. They’re washing up on beaches, where they’re sometimes eaten by dogs. In January, a fatberg “larger than a jumbo jet,” as the New York Post put it, was found beneath a small town southwest of London—particularly alarming because of the small population of people doing the flushing.
New York City is currently trying to stave off a growing fatberg problem. Since 2007, the cost of removing fatberg debris has more than doubled, according to Edward Timbers, the director of communications for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection. Left on their own, fatbergs can cause untreated water to flow into local waterways, or they can even back up of sewer water into homes, a public health issue. All told, cleaning screens and repairing damage from “baby fatbergs” (as science writer Erika Engelhaupt has described smaller blobs) and their kin currently costs the city about $20 million annually, according to Timbers.
Read more at Slate
Watch the video from nyc.gov