Fatburgs: know what to flush!

Fatburgs: know what to flush!

By now you’ve probably heard about fatburgs. Those gross looking blobs that have been plugging sewer and septic systems around the world.

Disinfectant wipes, paper towels, baby wipes, can all clog pipes and back up sewers. They don’t break down the way toilet paper is designed to break down. Even “flushable” wipes, aren’t that flushable.

Now that covid-19 is spreading across the world, people are using wipes to clean surfaces at work and at home. As the wipes and paper towels do not break down as quickly as toilet paper, they can get gather fat, grease, oil, hair and other things flushed that should not be flushed. These then stick together and cause big lumps, called fatburgs, that either restrict sewage flow or block it all together. These fatburgs started showing up a few years ago in sewers around the world, and today, with the uptake on using wipes, it may get worse.

Here is a link to a CNN story on the problems that are developing due to flushing things that should not be flushed. These problems also exist right here in BC. Here’s a link to a story on what happened recently in the Okanagan.

For more info on what you can flush, see our blogs on Don’t Strain Your Drain for septic systems and Own Your Throne, for sewer systems.  We also have a blog on the Dos and Don’ts of Septic Systems.

For more information on what you should and should not flush, see our blog on the Myth of Disposable Wipes.

Stay safe out there!

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