Monthly Archives: July 2019

  1. Fatbergs – An Insight into the Modern World?

    Fatbergs – An Insight into the Modern World?

    Their very existence tells us how our growing population with its love of fatty fast food is putting a 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.

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  2. Is the Foodservice Industry Finally Taking FOG Seriously?

    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.

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