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  • Why Do Grease Traps Smell So Bad? A Solution

    Fried foods tend to smell pretty tasty, but rancid FOGs (Fats, Oils and Grease) rarely do. Because of this, trapping grease in a box and leaving it there for it to go off may not seem like such a good idea, at first. Those first thoughts can make some forget the environmental benefits and put off investing in a grease trap.

    But, those first thoughts are wrong. Here’s how to avoid the grease trap stink problem.

    First, let’s go over the basics:

    How Do Grease Traps Work?

    Most grease traps look pretty simple: a box with a pipe feeding in and a pipe feeding out. They are found in the midst of a food business’ drainage pipes, usually in a back room (where the dish-washing goes on), either visible, above ground, or neatly tucked away beneath a manhole cover.

    Grease traps can come in several different sizes. The more FOGs a business produces, the bigger the grease trap they will need: a chicken and chip shop will need a bigger trap than the raw-vegan eatery down the street.

    Grease traps are designed to give the hot greasy water which you pour down your plughole a chance to cool. As that greasy water cools, the oils in it solidify and float to the surface.

    Many grease traps are designed with a grease separation chamber which (you guessed it) keeps this surface layer of solidified FOGs separate from the rest of the water. Many grease traps also contain a sludge trap which catches all of the solid bits of food which sink to the bottom of the box. The water, in the middle, then continues on its journey to the sewers.

    How passive grease traps work

    Now: What Makes the Trap Stink?   

    With those layers of FOGs and solid food sludge separated out, ever-present and ever-hungry bacteria get to work. The worst of the smell actually comes from the decomposition of the solid food deposits at the bottom of the grease trap: this is the layer which will cause bacteria to release pungent nitrates and rotten-egg-smelling sulphates as they digest it.

    Luckily, grease traps are fitted with pretty good seals which tend to hold back most, if not all, of these odours.

    But, if the smell is too strong to be held back…

    What Can You Do About It?

    While trying to kill the bacteria in your trap by pouring gallons of disinfectant down your drains may sound like a simple solution, there’s nothing better than simply cleaning your grease trap out regularly.

    How regular “regularly” is will depend largely on the size of the grease trap in question: the smaller the grease trap, the faster it will fill up. While some need emptying every week, others can go three months without being drained.

    Even better, get an expert to clean your trap out for you. While some types of traps, such as automatic grease traps, are designed to make it easy for you to dispose of your FOGs yourself, going for a larger stainless-steel trap and employing a professional can be a sensible step further for a bigger food business.

    Not only will this spare your unluckiest member of staff some dirty work, you can rest easy knowing that your trap is in safe hands: no parts will be misplaced or replaced incorrectly and, in the long term, your chosen professional can keep an eye on how the trap is working (checking the seals for wear and tear which may make them faulty, for instance).

    Looking after your grease trap well will help it look after our sewers. Most grease traps begin to lose their efficiency once they are a quarter-full: after that, FOGs begin to slide right through. So, keeping your grease trap clean and maintained in full working order will not only save you from the smell, it will help to save our planet from this slimy pollution.

  • Fatbergs – An Insight into the Modern World?

     

    Fatbergs Can Tell Us a Lot About Ourselves…

    Their very existence tells us how our growing population with its love of fatty fast food is putting Fast fooda strain on our Victorian sewers.

    Meanwhile, the hard-to-dispose-of FOGs and wet wipes that make up the bulk of a fatberg tell us about our love for convenience: we flush them down the drain because it’s easy, because it puts what we don’t know what to do with out of sight and out of mind.

    Tucked between those big baddies are our secrets, evidence of what we do behind closed doors as fatbergs swallow up everything from our old condoms to our syringes.

    Meanwhile, the chemical components of the bergs can give us a clue to understanding our collective consciousness: besides the caffeine and paracetamol that you might expect, there’s the cocaine and MDMA from our wild nights out, our weekend release at the end of a dull procession of nine to fives, and the even greater quantities of steroids, taken as part of our 21st century body image obsession.

    Fatbergs can tell us a lot about ourselves – we’ve only got to look at them in the right way.

    And We Have Been Looking

    For a while last year everyone was talking about them. Multiple headlines cropped up in national newspapers through late 2017 and early 2018 telling us all about these masses of solidified sewage.

    Fictional newspaper headline

    In early 2018, the Museum of London put on an exhibition, Fatberg!, which centred around chunks of the 250m Whitechapel sewer-blocker.

    A few months after that, Channel 4 followed the trend with a documentary, Fatberg Autopsy, in which parts of an even bigger fatberg were dissected for a mainstream TV audience.

    We heard all about it.

    But Did Anything Change?

    In short, very little: fatbergs are just as much a problem as before.

    Asking why that is might give us an even greater insight into the modern world.

    And this might be one reason:

    We all know that there’s a lot wrong with the world and we have all heard that our attention spans are shortening for some reason or other.

    The combination of the two means that a news story about fatbergs has to compete for attention with stories about hundreds, even thousands, of other issues on any given day.

    Newspaper headlines

    To compete, last year’s fatberg news stories, exhibitions and documentaries often resorted to scary and exciting descriptions of monsters, titanic tasks and battles against sinister forces in our sewers.

    Those words caught our attention and we may have talked about fatbergs for a little while afterwards, but our conversation didn’t end with us all solving the problem together.

    The best way to tackle fatbergs is for businesses and individuals to make small adjustments to the way they work and live. Basically: put grease traps in your drains and only ever flush the 3Ps (pee, poo and toilet paper). Individual acts add up to make a huge difference.

    But, faced with an apparently monstrous fatberg epidemic of unimaginable proportions, these small-scale responses sound pretty feeble. Nobody on the Titanic saw the iceberg right ahead and reached for their box of matches.

    It’s no wonder that few actually changed their ways. 

    Now We Need to Change How We Talk About Fatbergs

    As we talk about them, it is tempting to focus on the catastrophic end result and make people listen up that way, but we’ve got to face up to the much harder task of making a slowly moving process sound interesting and attention grabbing.

    Goslyn GOS40 GRU

    We’ve got to recognise that the big scary fatberg is the end product of a very slow evolution with a huge number of steps: a cup of cooking oil poured down the sink meets a wet wipe in the sewers and, sometime after that, the pair meet more fat, more wet wipes, more condoms and sanitary pads, until, over months or even years, the whole lot snowballs into an immense immovable blockage.

    If we put the emphasis on the gradual build-up of the bergs, we might all be better able to see how our fatberg problem can be overcome in the same way that fatbergs form, through a huge number of little steps of our own.

    We might recognise that one cup of oil saved from the drain is one cup the fatberg will never gain, and learn to love our grease traps.

  • Is the Foodservice Industry Finally Taking FOG Seriously?

     

    From fatbergs weighing 130 tonnes to recurrent flooding caused by blockages, Britain’s sewers are under siege. If we continue to flush fat, oil and grease (FOG) and non-biodegradable items into the sewers, the situation will only get worse.

    Water UK estimates there are more than 300,000 FOG-related sewer blockages in Britain each year, costing the taxpayer around £100 million to clear. Blockages lead to sewer flooding, which can cause untreated sewage to run into homes, gardens, and in the worst-case scenario, contaminate the water supply.

    While the correct disposal of FOGs has long been recognised as a problem by wastewater companies, the public remained largely oblivious to their role in clogging up the sewers. However, viral stories such as the infamous Whitechapel fatberg—a piece of which remains on the display at the Museum of London—have captured the public’s imagination and lead to the issue receiving wider media attention.

    water droplet with text 'clean, water, fresh'

    A Commercial Issue

    Wastewater from commercial kitchens contains a higher concentration and volume of FOG than domestic kitchens. But fatbergs are not created by FOGs alone. They are formed by FOGs combining with domestic household waste such as wet wipes to form giant calcified masses. Despite this, it is the foodservice industry which the water companies hold more accountable for sewage blockages.

    Recently in Nottingham, a restaurant was prosecuted and ordered to pay a total fine of £8,419 for flooding in the local area, caused in part by FOG discharge. A representative from Severn Trent Water told reporters that this case was “totally avoidable” and that “simply installing a suitable grease trap and making sure it’s maintained could have prevented the situation”.

    Every foodservice outlet in the country has a legal obligation to manage its “effluent content” under the Water Industry Act 1991. With more exposure in the media, foodservice outlets are being put under increasing pressure to manage their waste effectively as highlighted in the WRAP Envirowise Guide. Yet it is estimated that only 30% of Britain’s 400,000 commercial kitchens have some sort of FOG mitigation system in place.

    Britain’s largely Victorian sewer network will not be able to cope with increasing urbanisation, higher concentrations of food outlets, and climate change if the current rate of blockages remains.

    It is highly unlikely that it will ever be economically or practically viable for the government to insist on the installation of domestic grease traps. Therefore, rightly or wrongly commercial businesses will continue to bear the financial brunt of tackling the issue.

    The Simple Solution...Install a Grease Trap

    In an ideal world, Britain’s sewage problem would be solved if all commercial kitchens installed a grease trap. Grease traps stop FOGs at source and are the most cost-effective measure to ensure that commercial kitchens are adhering to legislation.

    The issue is that approximately half of the 30% of commercial kitchens with a FOG mitigationStainless steel grease trap system has not installed them correctly. This is because it is not always clear to restaurants how to correctly size and maintain their grease traps, in accordance with regulations. If your business is looking to install a grease trap the easiest way to make sure you get exactly what you need by requesting a free site survey. While water companies can enforce compliance, they are not obliged to offer advice on what equipment to use and how to use it. Further education, not accusations, is essential.

    In that regard, a campaign run by Scottish Water in Fife could set an industry standard. They worked with environmental inspectors from Environmental Compliance and Services (ECAS) to visit 172 foodservice businesses to educate them on how to effectively install grease traps. As a result, 119 new or larger grease traps were installed, preventing 140 tonnes of FOG entering the sewage system each year.

    While there is evidently a long way to go, the very fact that the industry is beginning to engage in a discussion about the best ways to manage FOG is a positive step towards change in commercial kitchens.

     

  • The Super Sewer Strikes Back

     

    The world has undoubtedly progressed and developed through the ages. This is a good thing, after all we wouldn’t have the medication, technology and modern comforts that are often taken for granted in the 21st Century. However the introduction of man-made convenience items such as baby wipes, condoms and sanitary wear have led to and created a new set of problems. Coupled with the increased use and production of fats, oils and grease mainly during cooking, the once hallowed sewer system of the 19th Century just isn’t able to cope with today’s modern lifestyle.

    For too long, the sewers beneath our feet have been dominated by massive accumulations of fats, oils and grease combined with solid waste that is irresponsibly disposed of down the toilet. It’s time that the sewers fought back.

    London’s Old Sewers

    All of London’s sewage was once washed straight into the Thames. This meant that, for a long River Thames, Londontime, the city stunk. In the 19th century, the problems became much more serious. In 1832, London experienced its first big outbreak of deadly cholera, which was followed by two more in the space of 25 years. These outbreaks were blamed on the bad smell.

    In 1858 the crisis reached its peak: at a time when 400,000 tonnes of sewage was being washed into the Thames each day, a particularly hot summer meant that the river’s water level fell and exposed decades’ worth of the city’s waste to stagnate in the sun.

    The House of Commons could no longer ignore the stench of what became known as The Great Stink. After attempting to move Parliament to Oxford, MPs drafted in an engineer named Joseph Bazalgette and told him to find a way to direct waste to sewage treatment plants outside of the city. Bazalgette responded by building the system of sewers that is still in use today.

    Our Modern Problems

    Over 150 years later, we have our own waste problems to deal with. London’s population has tripled since Bazalgette was around and most of those 9 million Londoners do not live like Victorians. The sewers were designed to overflow into the Thames once a month, but now they pollute the river each and every week.

    Meanwhile, the modern way of life means that the same sewers must handle something Bazalgette could never have predicted: Fatbergs. These huge blocks of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOGs) frequently block up the sewers under London’s streets and make it even more likely that our sewage will end up flowing directly into the Thames.

    The Solution?water and sunset view through pipe

    Thankfully, Bazalgette Ltd. is working on it, constructing a super sewer named Tideway. When it is completed in 2023, Tideway will be a 15 mile network of large sewers running under the Thames from Acton to Abbey Mills. The £4.2 billion Tideway tunnels will catch the overflow from the old sewers, store it, and then re-direct it to Beckton Sewerage Treatment Works where it will be treated and, once clean, released into the river.

    Tideway vs Fatbergs

    Tideway promises to clean up the Thames, and will mean that the Victorian sewers will be better able to cope with the strains of London’s growing population and the modern way of life. But Tideway doesn’t completely tackle the problem.

    Thames Water now spends about £1 million per month clearing fatbergs from London’s Victorian sewers and fatbergs will continue to form under London’s streets for the foreseeable future. Eventually, we may even see huge clogs in Tideway’s much bigger tunnels under the Thames, which would be even more expensive to clear.

    Water companies are stepping up the war, not only against fatbergs but against the businesses that directly contribute to their formation. Investigation into the origins of a fatberg have brought about a number of fines imposed on offending businesses to help cover the cost of clearing the blockage. Currently fines often stretch into thousands of pounds and that’s with a smaller, dated sewer system. As Tideway is developed, this massive super sewer will alleviate the issue however if people continue to abuse the sewer system, clogs will form again – but double or triple the size. Just think what the cost of fines would be then.

    What Can You Do About It?Stainless steel grease trap

    The direct solutions are still the best. Being aware of the impact of what you pour down the sink, and installing and using the correct sized grease traps in your drains stops the problem at its source, by preventing fatberg producing FOGs from getting into the sewers in the first place.

    While foodservice businesses and takeaways are deemed to be the main culprits, it isn’t only these premises that need to brush up on their grease management and clamp down on irresponsible behaviour. Domestic households are also contributors. The amount of FOG produced in a family home might not be of fatberg forming quantities but every little bit does damage. On top of this, domestic premises are the main culprits when it comes to flushing solid materials down the toilet – anything other than the 3 P’s (pee, poo and paper) is not acceptable.

     

    The new super sewer is yet another progression in societies advancement, a sign that systems below ground are evolving and developing just as society is above it. Responding to the growing needs and demands of a rapidly expanding population however, is remedy to just part of the problem. It’s vital that we use the opportunity that Tideway promises as the catalyst to address our own individual grease management practises and disposal tactics, both on the commercial and domestic front.

  • Putting Unruly Fatbergs to Good Use

    The Origins of a Fatberg

    Life has changed dramatically from centuries ago – even basic advancements in our daily activities, such as the use of soap, wet wipes and the introduction of different cooking techniques are now taken for granted. While making the world an easier and more comfortable place to live, these advancements often carry with them a number of disadvantages. At times, these disadvantages cause more harm to the environment than bargained for.

    The by-products from this modern lifestyle are increasingly showing themselves in the formation of the newly coined term for the environmental scourge known as a fatberg; a collection of solid waste from our daily consumption which forms in sewer lines of major cities around the world. Other than causing blockages in the aging sewer system, which at times can even cause material damage, these fatbergs can also harm wildlife.

    Fatbergs are made up of something called FOG (fat, oil and grease). It is a combination of oil, grease, fat, and solid items such as baby wipes, make-up and sanitary pads, nappies, hair and so much more which combine and congeal to create blockages, ranging from inconsequential lumps to gargantuan masses. This waste usually originates from waste products incorrectly disposed of from homes and commercial food service businesses, this waste unable to be broken down and so mostly collects in drainage systems.

    Busy city street

    Increase in Fatbergs in Cities

    Years of using non-biodegradable materials in millions of homes and businesses and incorrectly disposing of kitchen products, is increasingly showing its effect on the environment. The unhealthy habit of pouring fats and oils down sinks, which ultimately solidify and merge with waste materials, is proven to be the cause of fatbergs. Densely populated areas where high concentrations of waste are produced, are a prime breeding ground for these increasingly common phenomena.

    Cases of fatbergs being discovered in sewers, some as big as 64 metres, have been discovered in various cities. London’s largest fatberg; the Whitechapel Fatberg, whose last remains lay in the Museum of London , weighed 130 tonnes and stretched to more than 250 metres. The mass contained different kinds of waste materials such as nappies, wet wipes, condoms, fat and oils.

    This is, of course, a great nuisance to water companies who have to clear sewer systems as it takes workers days, even weeks of hard work to clear these obstructions and at great cost.

    Using Fatbergs for Good

    Green bio sign

    Recent avenues and developments, that have been investigated in reaction to the fatberg problem, have shown that it is possible to turn fatbergs into useful materials. Scientists have, in the recent past, discovered new ways to deal with fatbergs. This is done by turning these masses of waste into biodiesel. Biodiesel is a clean fuel which can be used in motor vehicles, commercial transport vehicles and airlines and produces less pollution in the atmosphere. New regulations are urging companies to increase the volume of biofuels being used by 2020 as a means to tackle climate change.

    The production of biodiesel involves turning the fats and oils into useful by-products. These fats and oils can sometimes make up to 40 percent of a fatberg. The process is rather simple and effective.

    The fatberg is collected and put into a pit where it is heated to liquefy the fats and oils. The fats and oils are then taken through a cleaning process which involves getting rid of all solid waste such as debris, sludge and slime. Water is also removed before the oil, which is now pure, is turned into biodiesel through the addition of chemicals.

    While the process of turning fatbergs into biodiesel is tried and tested, it is fairly new and does not completely address the fatberg problem. This means that fatbergs will still continue to clog sewers and affect the environment for some time to come.

    The creation of biodiesel leaves a lot of waste behind since not all elements of the fatbergs are used up. This can easily be handled through a process that allows the creation of methane gas which burns to release water and minimal levels of carbon dioxide.

    The waste is put in a biodigester before adding hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide works to digest any organic matter, thus reducing the size of the fatberg. It then leaves behind the non-bio degradable solid matter such as food wrappers and other general waste. The anaerobic bacteria in the digester reacts on the material left behind to produce methane.

    Handling the Fatberg Menace

    While treating fatbergs and turning them into useful environmentally friendly materials is a great idea and just one solution to the menace they cause, it is not the ideal solution. Treating fatbergs is like making the best out of a bad situation. The process costs time, money and resources.

    Goslyn GOS40 GRU Goslyn GOS40 GRU Automatic Grease Trap

    The best way to prevent these gross formations from causing harm to the environment is by not making them in the first place. This can be done through education of both domestic and commercial properties on the causes of fatbergs and how they can be avoided and also by reducing the amount of non-biodegradable materials produced such as single-use plastics and wet wipes. It also entails installing grease traps to prevent fats and oils from getting into drainage systems through disposal of waste down the sink in commercial food establishments.

    While these scientific treatments may treat and deal with the effects, it doesn’t remedy the course or the source of the problem. Ultimately these processes are reactive and not proactive to a completely preventable occurrence.

    Fatbergs are less likely to disappear from beneath our cities as long as large quantities of non-reusable products continue to be sold to consumers and people remain ignorant of the impact of their actions. Management however, is important to make sure that the repercussions on the environment can be limited and the best is made from a bad situation.

     

  • Anatomy of a Fatberg

     

    Ever thought about where that residual juice, fat, oil and grease from cooking equipment, trays and plates goes once it’s disappeared down your sink? Despite what many people think, it doesn’t just wash cleanly down the pipes to a treatment centre.

    Foundations of a Fatberg

    Once cooled your fats, oils, grease (also referred to as FOG) and juices solidify and congeal in pipe work. This, on its own, wouldn’t exactly be ideal but when combined with flushed items (which shouldn’t actually be flushed) such as wet wipes, sanitary products, contraceptives and cotton buds etc. a complex fusion is created that can develop into gargantuan proportions. What might begin as a minor nuisance can mature into a colossal blockage, costing time and money to remedy.

    A fatberg is formed.

    Are There Any Other Contributing Factors?

    Although the emphasis is placed on FOG mixed with solid matter, there are other elements that may contribute to the problem. Household items such as soap and essential oils etc. can all add to the problem – even claimed that the type of loo paper used can play a part.

    The general advice is to only flush the Three ‘P’s’ – pee, poo and paper, but even that may be in doubt if some reports are to be believed. Some are of the opinion that areas that pay a bit more for plush toilet paper are at greater risk of blockages; the thicker, quilted paper being harder to break down (although this is not evidenced).

    What Are the Effects of Fatbergs?

    When the sewer system is blocked, any overflow that can’t continue through the pipes creates pressure, potentially leading to blocked toilets and drains and the possible rupturing of ageing pipe systems. Any excess effluent that hasn’t got anywhere to go is flushing out into public waterways, the waste littering coastlines. This isn’t just an environmental hazard but poses a threat to wildlife.

    Where Do They Form?

    Victorian sewer

    Anywhere. Although mainly a product of highly populated areas, fatbergs have cropped up in less dense regions. Notably the most recent discovery was in Sidmouth; a relatively quiet seaside town.

    The problem isn’t just with what’s being flushed down toilets and sinks but also the substandard UK sewer system. First installed in the Victorian era when the population was considerably less and the day to day lives of society didn’t produce nearly as much waste, they just weren’t designed to cope with the demands of the modern world. The original structures in London were equipped to deal with the then populous of circa 4 million however have never been updated or modernised, so it’s not surprising that it can’t cope with the ever-multiplying population of today that’s approaching 9 million.

    Combatting Fatbergs

    Highlighting Bad Habits

    Although commercial foodservice businesses are highlighted by water companies as major contributors, being investigated and fined where an offence has occurred, blame shouldn’t only be restricted to your local restaurant or take-away.

    Bad habits are just as prevalent in the domestic arena. It has been reported that 4 in 10 residential premises within the Thames Water jurisdiction still pour oils, fats and grease down the sink, even though fatbergs and the known sources are more publicised than ever.

    People may think their little contribution won’t make a difference to the situation, but when everyone thinks the same, that’s when it turns into a massive issue.

    Reactive Response

    People imagine fatberg formations to be soft, squishy masses but surprisingly they are more like concrete. When a blockage is located, it requires high power water jets, pickaxes, shovels, drills and a whole lot of elbow grease to clear the way through the solid structure.

    A plan of action is formulated, teams are dispatched and the blockage is removed, although the whole process can take many weeks and even months.

    According to Water UK, there are approximately 300,000 blockages in UK sewers every year. That is estimated to cost water companies (and indirectly, the tax payer) up to £100 million to remedy.

    Rather than just react to the problem, a long term solution needs to be based around prevention rather than cure.

    Proactive Solution

    Educating domestic and commercial premises is essential.

    In the domestic sphere, flushing of the unflushables has been well publicised, with environmental consequences being made clear. Every perpetrating household can’t be brought to justice and so part of the solution has to rely heavily on common sense and the acceptance of responsibility by the public.

    In an attempt to help combat the fatberg phenomenon and the contribution of solids to theStainless steel passive grease trap problem, a new standard has been announced regarding ‘flushable’ wet wipes. Many so called ‘flushable’ items have been proven to be anything but, however this new testing aims to bring clarification to what can and can’t go down the toilet. The hotly anticipated ‘fine to flush’ logo will be awarded only to products that pass more rigorous testing. This comes off the back of Water UK’s information that non-flushable items are thought to contribute to almost 93% of sewer obstructions.

    Cooking juices and FOG ending up down the sink can be moderated and dramatically lessened with good grease management protocol. All plates and cooking utensils should be scrapped of waste food and wiped free of any residual juices before being rinsed. Any excess that does find its way into the drain can be caught with the simple installation of an appropriate grease trap.

    While presently grease traps aren’t required in domestic premises, they are strongly recommended and advised in commercial catering operations. Although other countries enforce strict rules for grease trap compliance, in the UK they are still only a recommendation … at the moment. It is soon believed that they will become a mandatory fitting in new and existing commercial properties.

    Fatbergs are increasingly posing a real threat to communities, the environment and wildlife. By educating the public and businesses and giving a greater understanding of what exactly fatbergs are and how they can be prevented, this is one problem that we can all combat together.

  • Whitechapel – Just the Tip of the Fatberg

     

    The Whitechapel Fatberg | Less Famous Fatbergs | What We Know About the Perfect Fatberg Breeding Ground | The Aftermath of a Fatberg | Education is the Key | Renewable Energy Source

    Following the well publicised discovery of what is thought to be the UK’s largest fatberg on record in Whitechapel 2017, the issue of congealed masses of public waste has hit the headlines. Build-ups of fats, oils and grease (or FOG, as it’s known in the industry) held together with baby/wet wipes, sanitary products, nappies and a whole host of other household items, became big news. This was a new phenomenon to the majority of the population, one thought unlikely to be repeated anytime in the near future.

    Rather than being an anomaly, a once in a lifetime story, this has become worryingly common, not just on a national level but on a global scale. Past stories began to emerge detailing the full extent of the problem. Unfortunately, with the emergence of yet another obstruction to the UK sewer system, this time in Sidmouth, it’s become evident that this is now an ongoing crisis worldwide.

    The Whitechapel Fatberg

    The Whitechapel monster captured the public's attention for its sheer unimaginable size, the grotesqueness of its creation and the absurdity that the scale of fascination led to a chunk being displayed in the Museum of London. While the new arrival to the fatberg party isn’t as large as its predecessor, it does highlight the necessity to tackle the source of these fatbergs head on with the public and businesses taking responsibility for their actions and considering the effects of their ‘flushing’ antics and disposal methods for kitchen waste.

    The bare bones or integral frame of a fatberg is heavily reported to consist of products that the public flush down the toilet on a daily basis. Solidified FOG, mainly from commercial foodservice businesses, acting as the glue to hold the structure together. The general public, captivated by the idea of something so disgusting lurking in the depths of cities, began to grasp the seriousness of the Whitechapel situation – the cost involved in clearing the blockage, the damage to the environment and wildlife and the potential compromise to the structural integrity of the sewer system.

    Other stories of past formations began to come to light. The fight against the fatberg was gaining momentum.

    Less Famous Fatbergs

    When? Where?
    August 2013  Kingston-upon-Thames
    September 2014 Melbourne
    April 2015 Chelsea
    July 2015 Welshpool, Wales
    August 2017 Belfast
    September 2017 Baltimore
    September 2018 Detroit, Michigan
    October 2018 Charleston, South Carolina
    February 2019 Liverpool

    What We Know About the Perfect Fatberg Breeding Ground

    London

    Fatbergs are typically thought to be native to heavily populated areas where large quantities of all the essential elements combine to create monstrous masses beneath the streets. Aggravated by outdated sewer systems that weren’t designed to handle the excesses of today’s modern world, ingredients build-up and grow to critical levels, eventually causing blockages, damage to pipework and potential leaking of raw sewage on surface level.

    Fact: ‘fatberg’ isn’t a technical term but more a pet-name given by the ‘flushers’ (the brave work force who strive to keep the sewers clean). It only entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2017.

    The most recent case in Sidmouth is a surprising one considering what we know, or think we know, about fatbergs. While findings in large cities such as London, Melbourne and New York are expected, the coastal town of Sidmouth is far from a stereotypical site. Does this suggest that the fatberg problem is wider spread and a greater threat than everyone first feared?

    The Aftermath of a Fatberg

    After the initial finding and assessment of the situation, detailed operations are put in place to deal with the issue at hand. Clear up takes weeks of intensive manual labour, using shovels, pickaxes, drills and high-power jets, costs reaching in to hundreds of thousands of pounds. It has been likened by the courageous work force behind the clean-up operations as tackling concrete rather than the expected soft gooey mess. Unfortunately taking on a fatberg can cause disruption to the local area whether through sewer problems or traffic blocks being put in place.

    Water authorities have been tackling the issue discreetly for years, however now, they are taking a much tougher stance. Specialist teams have been dispatched, opening investigations to discover the source of FOG entering the sewers. Any business found to be contributing can be ordered to pay hefty fines to cover the costs of clean-up.

    Most recently, a Nottingham based business has been handed a hefty fine after it was established that it was the cause of repeated problems and blockages in the area. In January 2019, the restaurant was ordered to pay a fine of £8,419 including costs and victim surcharge. The installation of an appropriate grease trap and adequate maintenance from the outset could have made the whole situation avoidable. Similarly, last year a Shrewsbury restaurant admitted to blocking the sewers with fats, oils and grease and was ordered to pay over £9000.

    Education is the Key

    The education and understanding of the general public and foodservice businesses is the best hope for being victorious in the war against the fatberg. Putting only the three ‘p’s’ down the toilet (pee, poo and paper), employing strict grease management systems and installing Manual grease trapappropriate grease traps are all vital steps to halting the attack on the worlds sewers. Something as simple as a grease trap, whether manual or automatic, installed between the premises waste water system and the public sewer can help exponentially.

    It’s vital that once a grease trap is installed it is appropriately maintained to optimise FOG entrapment. Detailed records must be kept and ready for inspection on request of the local water authority.

    Perceptions need changing. It shouldn’t be about the convenience of pouring waste down the sink or flushing unacceptable items down the toilet, more about the population’s inherent responsibility to the planet.

    It is undeniable that people and businesses are now more aware of the ecologically damaging effect of their actions. Although every new finding creates a stir and brings to light the important issue of fatbergs and how they come to being, it is still unclear whether their time in the limelight will have enough of an influence on the way businesses and the general public dispose of waste to have an impact on fatberg formation.

    Renewable Energy Source

    It’s not all doom and gloom. On a brighter note, research is ongoing into how fatbergs can be turned into a useful, renewable energy source. Specialist plants have devised a way to break down the fatberg, separating the solid elements such as wet wipes, which are responsibly disposed of, and the oil and grease. These notorious F.O.G base products are then turned into biodiesel - green energy for positive use.

    Even a fatberg can have a silver lining.

    *As of February 2019, the newest discovery in the UK has been made in Liverpool. As is the stereotypical trend, this 90 tonne beast measuring a reported 84 metres in length has formed in the highly populated city where domestic and commercial waste meet on a massive scale. This is thought to be a new record for any fatberg found in the North West, further demonstrating and highlighting the necessity for everyone, from households to businesses, to act responsibly and consider the very real and damaging consequences of their actions. 

  • Tis’ the Season to be Foggy

    1. Proactive Not Reactive
    2. Why Spend Money on a Grease Trap
    3. Refine Kitchen Processes
    4. Brush Up on Housekeeping
    5. Educating the Nation

     

    Christmas, widely celebrated as the season for cheer and goodwill to all men, but what about the aftermath of the festivities; those lurking beneath the streets?

    It’s a time for decadent menus with lashings of roasties, meats and sauces but also, inevitably, a time for a potential increased output of fats, oils, grease and solids into the public sewer system. Businesses and households are busy rustling up festive feasts but the by-products can be disastrous for pipework.

    The possible increase in FOG isn’t the only thing that’s cause for concern; the cold weather doesn’t help matters. Fats, oils and grease solidify more quickly in pipes when the temperature drops during winter (or fatberg season). With detrimental elements all coming together to create a perfect storm…or fatberg, there’s plenty to contend with at this time of year.

    With the hospitality and foodservice industry entering one of its busiest times of year, it’s time to refine kitchen grease management procedures and make sure that the only thing getting clogged up this Christmas is Santa as he makes his way down the chimney.

    Proactive Not Reactive

    Goslyn GOS40 GRU

    Don’t wait for the effects of a FOG build-up to make themselves known, either through a back-up of waste or the local authority knocking at your door. Install appropriate grease traps where possible and be part of the solution, not the problem.

    With passive (or manual) grease traps, chemical dosing equipment and automatic GRUs (grease recovery units) available there are plenty of options on the market. Each designed to effectively deal with and combat FOG in its own way, there’s an interceptor to cope with any sized kitchen and flow rate. Find out how different traps work and the basic principles to ascertain which is the best option for any foodservice operation.

     

    Why Spend Money on a Grease Trap

    It’s a valid question. There’s often claims of ‘We operate strict grease management procedures – we don’t put FOG into the system, so why should we pay out?’ Or assumptions that ‘The local water authority would never know we’d caused the problem even if FOG did end up in the public sewer!’ These are dangerous standpoints to take. Unfortunately, the vast majority of businesses will release at least a small amount of FOG into the sewers and water authorities do have their ways to ascertain the source of any blockages. Everyone has a responsibility to do their part.

    The price of a grease trap is substantially less than the sewer cleaning costs and potential fines issued if a company is found to be leaking FOG into the drainage system, even if it is done inadvertently.

    No Grease Management Process is Infallible

    Regardless of how competent staff are with regards to grease management, some FOG will always make its way into the drains albeit in smaller quantities. Whether through sauce residue being rinsed down the sink or grease on cookware not having been thoroughly wiped, it’ssewer inspection surprisingly easy to let some unsavoury substance slip through the net.

    Can’t Slip the Sewer Sleuths

    Water companies can and will trace the origins of fatbergs. Using a combination of cameras and good old detective skills to follow the FOG trail, they have tried and tested methods to decipher where FOG has entered the sewer - and they will follow up findings. Holding the power to impose warnings and fines as documented in UK legislation, Water Industry Act 1991 subsection 3 they are committed to cleaning up foodservice practices.

    Conservation Not Contamination

    The impact of FOG on the ecosystem is widely reported and people are more aware than ever of the damage caused, from contamination of local waters to the threat posed to wildlife. By businesses investing in appropriate grease traps this damage can be minimised.

    In addition to grease traps there are other potential areas to think about to reduce a business’s environmental impact.

    Refine Kitchen Processes

    Fats, oils and grease come hand in hand when operating a foodservice business; it’s inevitable. Found in the primary culprits of kitchen oil, residual juices and cooking waste, it’s also hiding in sauces, dressings, spreads and dairy; all common things typically rinsed down the sink.

    Cooking Techniques and Equipment

    If reconsidering the menu is a bit too much to ask, try refining cooking techniques where possible. Could chefs employ alternative methods, reducing frying where possible or opting to use equipment that conveniently collects or atomises fats and grease such as the Synergy Grill?

    Oil Usage and Filtration

    Addressing the quantity of oil used in a kitchen can be a great way to reduce potential FOG output. Less oil means less potentially entering the drainage system.

    Investing in quality filtration such as Vito is the ideal solution for businesses that use large quantities of oil during cooking such as fish and chip shops and take-aways. Filtration allows it to be reused, extending expected lifespan and decreasing costs.

    Brush Up on Housekeeping

    When addressing kitchen processes and refining grease management, it’s the perfect time to make sure that general housekeeping in relation to FOG prevention is in order.

    Cleaning Traps

    Where passive grease traps are installed, it’s vital to carry out regular cleaning. Automatic GRU’s that collect separated FOG should be tended to daily. Giving appropriate care and attention to equipment will guarantee the ongoing productivity and efficiency of grease interceptors.

    Storing FOG

    Reassess waste oil and FOG storage. All fats, oils and grease should be contained in a suitable airtight receptacle away from food preparation areas and sewer access points. Storing waste near drainage systems means that any accidental spillage could see all the hard work of collecting and securing FOG, literally end up down the drain. All kitchen by-products must be responsibly disposed of by a licensed contractor. For information concerning services in a particular area, get in touch with the local authority.

    Breaking News! FOG doesn’t just go down the drainkitchen extraction

    Everyone concentrates on the damage that fats, oils and grease do to the sewer system but that shouldn’t be the only area of concern. FOGs also accumulate in extraction systems causing safety issues in the kitchen and potential fire hazards. When considering grease management don’t skip on the cleaning and maintenance of extraction, ventilation and ductwork.

    The regularity of cleaning will depend on the level of usage the kitchen experiences.

    HVAC Equipment  

    Kitchen Usage    

    Cleaning Regularity

    Ductwork  Light duty (approximate 2-6 hrs p/day Approx. every 12 months
    Medium duty (approximate 6-12 hrs p/day Approx. every 6 months
    Heavy duty (approximate 12+ hrs p/day Approx. every 3 months
    Premises with heavy FOG production will require more frequent cleaning
    Extraction Hoods & Filters Recommended daily

    *Please Note: Always refer to manufacturers manual which takes precedence*

    Educating the Nation

    Although people are now more aware of the presence of fatbergs and the causes that contribute to their creation as a result of increased media coverage, there are still some that may not appreciate the full implications.

    The UK as a whole currently spends an estimated £80 million every year on clearing fatberg deposits; a massive amount that could be spent elsewhere. Education is the key to tackling this very real issue, on a local and national scale.

    Common Misconceptions

    Water in sink

    ‘FOG pours neatly down the sink, how can that become the congealed mass shown on the news?’

    FOG, when warm will take on liquid form, slipping easily down drain pipes and into the sewer system. Problems arise when these fats, oils and grease cool: solidifying and mixing with solid waste such as wet wipes, sanitary products and nappies etc. This small inconvenience grows and evolves until it becomes a significant blockage that can take months to clear.

    ‘I pour hot water down the sink after FOG to flush it through, so I’m not contributing to the problem.’

    It’s true that hot water flushes through fats, oils and grease however it just pushes the problem further down the pipes. The hot water keeps FOG in liquid form for longer hence it travels further through the system however even this will cool at some point resulting in the same issues. No fats, oils, grease or solids should enter sewers full stop.

    Staff Training is Vital

    It’s important that businesses address grease management by investing in appropriate grease intercepting equipment however educating staff about preventative measures and highlighting why strict adherence to procedures is vital, is just as essential to combating fatbergs.

    Explaining the consequences and highlighting the wider concerns better illustrates why following grease management processes is critical not only to the business but the environment. The rules are there for a reason.

    Basic Rules for Good FOG Prevention

    • Fully scrape plates removing any residual solids, sauces or condiments etc.
    • Dry wipe plates with kitchen towel and dispose of in the bin. This removes any fats, oils and grease that may still be on the plate after scraping.
    • Only when the plate is completely clear, rinse in the pot wash sink where a plug strainer is in position and an appropriate grease trap or grease recovery unit is installed. It’s important to use a strainer in sinks to catch any errant solids.
    • Any FOG from cookware and equipment should be poured into a suitable container and sealed ready for collection.

    Top Tip; Consider putting up posters around pot wash areas to remind staff of proper practice and periodically carrying out refresher courses. All grease management should be reconsidered and revised regularly to ensure optimum results are being achieved.

    Keep Detailed Documentation

    It’s essential (in fact it’s part of legislation; Environmental Protection Act: Duty of Care: Section 34) to document all grease management procedures and keep detailed records. This evidence will be required during inspections.

    If a blockage occurs in the local area, businesses should have documented evidence to prove that suitable grease management is in place and that proper processes have been followed.

    Everybody’s Problem

    It’s not just typical foodservice businesses that need to address practices. Although take-aways are generally considered to be the highest producers of FOG, other premises must also address their operations.  Schools and educational establishments, canteens, hotels, B&B’s (think of all those full English breakfasts), prisons and other correctional facilities must all consider themselves accountable.

    Domestic residences may not contribute as much FOG as commercial premises but are still a large factor in sewer blockages. While legislation at present only stipulates commercial properties, domestic addresses should also be aware of the repercussions of their actions. Often disposing of FOG down the sink in the form of sauces, soups, butter, cooking juices and oil etc. and flushing solids other than the recommended ‘3 P’s’ (pee, poo and paper) down the toilet, domestic properties must also sit up and take notice of the situation; not leave it all to the businesses.

  • Should You Connect a Commercial Dishwasher to a Grease Trap?

      1. Grease Management at Christmas
      2. Grease Traps and Dishwashers
        1. What's the problem?
        2. Placement is key
        3. What size do I need?
      3. We recommend

    At the onset of one of the busiest times of year, professional kitchens are under immense pressure in every sense. Tackling extra stock in the kitchen combined with extra tables to be served, all whilst fulfilling the high expectations of guests are just some of the challenges without even starting on the quantity of extra dishes and cookware that need washing.

    Menus will be packed with traditional fare including pigs in blankets, a good selection of meats, roast potatoes and roasted vegetables; Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them. Unfortunately, the side effects of these festive favourites is an increased production of fats, oils and grease (or FOG).

    Grease Management at Christmas

    Kitchens should be employing good standards of grease management throughout the year. This includes scraping foods into the bin, dry wiping plates and cookware and swilling in sinks, underneath which appropriate grease traps are fitted according to guidelines. But what about other FOG residue that could potentially worm its way into the sewer system from unexpected sources that haven’t been accounted for?

    Bearing in mind the increased quantities of FOG during this time of year, Christmas is theChecklist perfect opportunity to revisit grease management solutions and make sure all bases are covered.

    If operating a commercial pot wash section and warewash as intended there should be little need to install a specific trap solely for this equipment. The correct procedure involves the scraping of food waste into the bin, dry wiping of plates and cookware to remove excess fats, oils and grease before spraying in the pre-wash sink. Any residual FOG left after scraping and wiping will go down the sink to be collected by the grease trap there. Tableware should effectively be ‘clean’ and free of FOG or other contaminants before going into the dishwasher; the dishwasher only used to sanitise crockery, cookware and cutlery.

    Having said that, every area of the kitchen should be viewed as potentially susceptible to FOG production from combination ovens to ware washers. Staff in pot wash areas, even those with the strictest measures in place, could be tempted to cut corners during a busy Christmas service where high turnover demands a continuous influx of clean crockery. Any lapse in concentration could see FOG that would otherwise be taken care of and disposed of correctly, entering the dishwasher and therefore the sewer. Not only could this have a negative impact on the operation of the dishwasher but it also spells bad news for the drainage system, especially when there is no defence in place against this direction of attack.

    Although grease traps are typically associated with under sink positioning or in external locations (as is the case for high capacity businesses), can they also be used in other situations?

    Grease Traps and Dishwashers

    The big question most kitchens ask is ‘can grease traps be fitted to commercial dishwashers’? Unfortunately, it’s not that straight forward hence there are conflicting opinions and advice surrounding this topic.

    In theory, there is no reason why a trap or separator can’t be fitted to a dishwasher, as long as it is of suitable capacity to cope with the large flow rate. The overall effectiveness of the system however is the issue that causes debate. Ultimately how well the interceptor performs is determined by the final position and situation of the unit in relation to the warewasher.

    What’s the Problem?

    The main issue is that the high water temperature ejected from the dishwasher mixed with detergent could hinder the successful operation of the FOG management system.Clean plate

    Dishwashing detergents are designed to break down grease and therefore could potentially begin breaking down FOG in the interceptor. High temperatures could heat solidified FOG, returning it to a fluid that can travel farther into the sewer. This doesn’t prevent possible fatberg production, just passes the problem further down the line where it will again solidify and cause blockages. If a trap isn’t ‘trapping’ then it’s effectively redundant.

    These points, whilst viable don’t mean that grease containment solutions can’t be effective when working in conjunction with a dishwasher. Correct positioning however, is vital.

    Placement is Key

    A grease trap should never be installed too close to a dishwasher. The high flow rate and hot temperatures can prevent the effective separation of FOG, potentially forcing any fats, oils and grease already contained straight through to the sewer. The sheer volume of water flushed through the system could result in the bypassing of preventative measures completely, rendering them ineffective.

    The water expelled from a dishwasher generally sits between 50°C and 80°C. At these temperatures the FOG present in effluent will remain fluid, any fat already stored in the box potentially melting. Passive and mechanical systems rely on the cooling and solidification process to successfully capture FOG; difficult to achieve when combined with high temperatures.

    Commercial dish washer

    In order for an interceptor to be effective fats need to be contained for long enough at the right temperature for them to solidify. Grease management systems should therefore be positioned with enough distance between the dishwasher and the trap to allow water to sufficiently cool to regular effluent temperatures before entering the interceptor.

    What Size Do I Need?

    Some operations may opt to install multiple smaller traps around the kitchen to serve individual equipment. Alternatively, a large single unit could be installed to service the kitchen as a whole. Fittings and appliances will often all be connected to a main drain; all waste directed to the same outlet before entering the public sewer system. In some circumstances, this could be the perfect position for a trap to catch debris from a commercial dishwasher. It’s far enough away from warewashing systems to allow for water to have cooled and it will encompass all kitchen equipment, meeting all FOG containment requirements. If opting for this set-up it’s vital that the system installed is large enough to accommodate effluent from the entire kitchen and meet the combined flow rate of the business as a whole.

    Top Tip: It’s imperative to install a trap capable of dealing with the connected flow rate. A site survey is strongly recommended to assess individual needs and ascertain the right solution for each individual kitchen.

    We Recommend

    One product on the market that can withstand potential high temperature effluent is the Goslyn grease recovery unit. This is a non-mechanical GRU that doesn’t require FOG to solidify to operate effectively. The Goslyn automatic grease trap instead employs its own heater to maintain the fluid state of fats, oils and grease before utilising hydro-static pressure to force FOG out and into a separate container. It is this difference in operation from standard traps that makes it ideal for use in conjunction with a commercial dishwasher.

    Legislation states that any effluent leaving a commercial kitchen that could potentially contain FOG must pass through a grease trap. Technically all dishwashers should be connected somewhere along the line according to guidelines however it is the placement of this grease interceptor and how it is set-up that determines its effectiveness.

  • Clearing the FOG After Bonfire Night

     

    You’ve enjoyed the bonfire, marvelled at the fireworks and indulged in delicious food to warm the cockles in the chilly evening; Bonfire night is complete for another year. The fog may be clearing after the fireworks but what about the FOG below your feet?

    The Season of the Fatberg

    Hotdog

    Although fatbergs can form at any point throughout the year, late autumn and winter offer prime conditions to cultivate the real monsters. Cold weather will often lead the population towards hearty foods, dishes typically associated with more FOG producing potential. Warming classics such as stews, roasts and soups are a regular occurrence with Bonfire night alone seeing a marked increase in greasy favourites such as burgers and sausages a decent helping of fried onions. Unless impeccable levels of grease management are continuously practiced, there’s a good chance of higher quantities of FOG being introduced to the sewer system. More FOG = more fatberg building materials.

    This time of year also sees dramatically colder weather. A drop in temperature leads to sewer pipes being generally colder, meaning that FOG solidifies more quickly. Rapidly solidifying FOG means fatbergs are formed in less time. Combine this with the increase in fats, oils and grease and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    An Ongoing Battle

    Fatbergs aren’t a new phenomenon and appear to have been a concern as far back as the Victorian era when the idea of a grease trap first came into existence. There are multiple cases around the country at any one time; some not yet developed enough to cause issues, others so large they pose obstruction risks. Not only blocking sewer systems and causing untold damage to underground structures, fatbergs also potentially threaten hygiene and health with harmful bacteria reproducing freely. Just because we only occasionally hear about the gargantuan masses, it doesn’t mean that they’re not always there – the problem goes much deeper.

    Think along the lines of Ghostbusters 2 with something evil and fetid spawning beneath our feet. Instead of a freely flowing river of slime, picture a congealed bulk waiting to attack and burst forth onto the streets. Grease traps both passive and automatic are the super heroes ready to save the day by preventing fatberg ingredients from amassing in the sewers.

    The obvious breeding grounds for supersize fatbergs are highly populated areas where a Populated areavariety of premises converge; places where commercial and domestic buildings go hand in hand. High quantities of FOG from foodservice businesses combined with sanitary products and wet wipes etc. from domestic residences, hotels and hospitals merge in the outdated sewer system to create the prime spot for fatberg formation. The pipework beneath major cities is under continuous scrutiny, with teams on the lookout for any potential problems before they arise.

    It falls to water companies to take up arms and tackle these rancid beasts. The only way to clear congealed aggregations of waste is by hand with the help of pressure washers, shovels, a great deal of protective clothing and a whole heap of elbow grease (the non-fatberg forming kind). The unwavering dedication of water companies, in particular the ‘flushers’ (an affectionate name for the people on the front line) is what keeps our sewer systems in good working order. The unrecognised protectors of our sewer systems, it is they who have the responsibility of hunkering down to tackle the monstrosities lurking in the depths. The sheer scale of the problem and work involved comes with a price tag though.

    The Cost of Fatbergs

    The cost of clearing fatbergs and repairing any damage within a specified zone falls to the national water company responsible for that area.

    The accumulative figure for the UK as a whole to stay on top of fatberg formations is currently estimated at an eye-watering £80 million. This figure isn’t divided equally however; the budget for each authority in no way directly proportionate to the square miles it covers. Obviously, regions with more heavily populated areas must budget for a greater expenditure as they naturally tackle a higher total amount of effluent.

    SewerThames Water alone estimates it spends approximately £1 million every month within its jurisdiction. This staggering amount only covers the cost of clearing blockages alone without taking in to account any damage caused by fatbergs, the potential disruption to traffic and the pungent smells likely to invade the area. Although Thames Water isn’t the biggest authority based on square miles, it primarily consists of large, built-up, densely populated areas where the prime ingredients for fatbergs are in abundance.

    Scottish Water reportedly spend around £6.5 million per year on clearing blockages and while it services the largest land coverage, it includes vast remote areas where FOG won’t necessarily be an issue.

    It’s these exorbitant sums that have led to authorities clamping down on the main offenders - foodservice businesses. Any new business set-up is required to install appropriate grease trap protection. Whilst not compulsory for existing businesses, it is strongly urged to address current grease management procedures and take action to limit the amount of effluent ending up down the drain.

    Teams of investigators (fatberg busters, if you will) are on the case, monitoring the situation and tracing blockages back to the source. If a blockage occurs and is successfully traced back, massive fines can be issued to cover the expense of clearing and removal. Kitting out commercial kitchens and catering operations with suitable grease traps could avoid experiencing large potential payouts in the future.

    What’s Next?

    Unfortunately, while people remain oblivious to the results of their actions, fatbergs will always be an issue. Education is the key. Teaching businesses and homes about the dangers of FOG and informing of simple grease management procedures and grease trap equipment to prevent fatberg creation, this is a battle we can and will win. The first step has already been taken, with the media highlighting fatberg reports and getting people talking. Detailing the clearing costs involved and the generally disgusting nature of the results, it’s time to use the public’s strange fascination with the gruesome to capture their attention; using the lure of the repugnant to highlight this very important issue.

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