A popular, recurring new story over the last few years has been the discovery of several ‘fatbergs’ in the sewage systems beneath large UK cities. As a vastly experienced drainage contractor, SB Drain Services knows about the causes and grim reality of fatbergs only too well. As a specialist in every kind of drain repair and ongoing drain maintenance, and with the latest in CCTV drain survey equipment, we regularly witness the same process repeating itself time and time again. While something the size of a fatberg can’t quite develop in the pipework of St Albans homes, the incorrect practices of domestic, commercial and industrial property owners not only risk their own blocked drain, but contribute to large fat build-ups in the wider drainage system.
Before we continue, for those who may not be familiar with the concept of a fatberg, they are defined as follows: a significant mass of solid waste located within a sewerage system. This mass consists primarily of congealed grease and fat as well as personal hygiene products that have been flushed down the toilet.
In order to not cause undue concern, we should point out that fatbergs form in larger public drainage systems, not at homes and business premises. However, the actions of people within these smaller dwellings, when compiled together, contributes to these fatty masses. In some cases, miniature fatbergs form in the smaller pipework of homes and business as the waste residue doesn’t get washed fully away. In fact, grease and fat build-up remains a common discovery in our CCTV drain survey work.
The majority of drainage systems in St Albans, and across the UK, have only been designed to handle water, toilet paper and human waste. Additional items like wet pipes, cleaning wipes, cotton wool, cooking fats, oils and much more have started to have a significant impact.
As more and more people flush things down the toilet or pour numerous liquids down the sink, these congealed masses get bigger, thus restricting the amount of space for other waste to pass through as normal.
Needless to say, in your own property, without adequate drain maintenance or any kind of CCTV drain survey to clear it, an accumulation of fat that creates a blocked drain has terrible consequences.
Quite simply, anything that gets flushed or poured away will just come back up again, and it will be time to call a drainage contractor.
1. Don’t pour fat, oil or grease down the sink. Even when in liquid form after use, fats, oils and grease naturally harden as they cool. In most cases, that will be in your drainage system. To prevent a blocked drain or expensive drain repair work, soak up fats with paper towels or pour them safely into an appropriate bin.
Alternatively, for businesses in St Albans who use much larger quantities of these liquids, seek out a company that recycles waste cooking oils.
2. Don’t flush wipes down the toilet. From household cleaning wipes to face cleansing wipes, these products should never be flushed down the toilet. Despite what manufacturers might say, these products do not disintegrate. They simply are not biodegradable. Some even include plastic resins.
For the good of your drainage system, and to avoid another call to the drainage contractor, put them in the bin.
3. Schedule regular drain maintenance. We recognise that it’s hard to maintain best practice at all times. As such, regular drain maintenance goes a long way to preventing a blocked drain or large-scale drain repair work.
With our CCTV drain survey expertise, we ensure that systems in the St Albans area remain at full operational capacity.
Registered Office: 135 High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 1JN
SB Drain Services Ltd | Company Registration Number: 11679728 | Incorporated in England and Wales