Facing the ‘Fatberg’

Facing the Fatberg: Nicky Severn, Marketing Manager from Cawleys explores the world of Fatbergs

Following the news that a massive 64 metre ‘fatberg’ was discovered in Devon recently, the problem of unsuitable items in our sewerage system has been catapulted into the public eye. The fatberg which consisted of a huge build-up of fat, oil, grease (FOGS) and wet wipes was longer than 6 buses and took more than eight weeks to clear.

Sewage isn’t a subject that any of us usually want to discuss. What goes on in our pipes and underground after we flush is generally of no concern. However, increasing environmental awareness and the on-going media coverage showing the volume of waste that finds its way into our oceans has got us all worried. Furthermore, more and more people are facing ‘wet-wipe woe’, not only in terms of the sheer quantity we use and their non-environmentally friendly status, but also in terms of the hassle and cost that can be incurred if they block our pipes at home or in business.

Fatberg busters

So, what can be done about fatbergs? The removal of Fatbergs is not an easy business and a specialist waste provider with the correct equipment will be required to break up and clear the fatberg and dispose of the materials that have caused the build-up.

Companies such Cawleys offer a variety of services to deal with such blockages and help prevent them in the first place. For example, Cawleys tanker waste team are specialists in clearing sewage and interceptor build ups. As fully insured, accredited waste operatives they can collect and dispose of sewage from septic tanks, cesspits, Klargesters Bio-discs, Soakaways, cesspools, pump stations and sewage treatment plants. With emergency call out attendance or pre-planned visits Cawleys’ team can draw on the right equipment and more importantly years of experience to clear any blockage.

Prevention is better than cure

But how can we stop Fatbergs forming in the first place?

The sheer size and density of this latest fatberg discovery should make us more aware than ever of what we should and shouldn’t be pouring down our sinks and flushing down our loos. Fats, oil and grease should not be poured down drains or sinks as they will eventually solidify and cause a blockage.  Likewise, anything not able to break-up in water like wet wipes and sanitary items should always be disposed of separately.

This latest fatberg in Devon was no-doubt caused by a combination of all the above, not only from domestic households but also from the wide variety of businesses in the area. Many companies including restaurants, cafes and food production organisations produce waste that includes significant quantities of FOGS. Normally a grease trap is used to capture FOGS from a commercial business and this is then cleaned by a responsible contractor.  However, if the FOGS are just left to drain away drainage issues are guaranteed to happen.

Cawleys sewage clearing team can help

Cawleys Tanker Service can provide a comprehensive service to meet a wide variety sewage waste requirements. Whether it’s an emergency call-out, a one-off issue or regular clean, we can help ensure your drainage system stays clear and healthy.

All of our Tanker services include…

  • Comprehensive risk assessment and method statement to ensure full legal compliance and complete peace of mind.
  • An experienced and helpful team to check every step of the way for you, to anticipate and pre-empt any challenges.
  • Clear pricing

If you have a ‘Fatberg’ problem or would just like to get a quote for our sewage waste tankers please contact Cawleys today.



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