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Meet the Fatbergs

Monster blobs lurk in the sewers beneath us, silently growing until the wreak havoc on the civilized world. These are fatbergs, masses of congealed fats, oils, and grease (known as FOG) entertwined with solid debris that shouldn't be in the sewer to begin with. When fatbergs grow large enough -and some have been over 100 tons- they can bring an entire municipal sewer system to a halt. But exactly what goes into a fatberg varies from city to city.

But beyond that, you have to think about the people who find, retrieve, and study these fatbergs. It's a case of "someone's gotta do it, just glad it's not me." Read about the study of fatbergs and what they've discovered so far, at Atlas Obscura. Meanwhile, remember that saving room in a landfill is not worth destroying a sewer system.

(Image credit: Stephanie Birdsong)

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True, but I still learned new stuff from the article, like the different kinds of fats used in different parts of the world, and how bad dental floss is to tie it all together. Who flushes dental floss?

That grinder is impressive, but I still don't like the idea of smaller particles of plastic and rags flowing through our systems. We need to clean up after ourselves.
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The main culprit these days is disposable wipes, which bind with the fats into a solid mass that has to be cut apart with high-pressure water jets. Compounding the problem is a lot of non-disposable wipes that have been flushed anyway.

In my working life, I had to deal with these things and did so via the Muffin Monster -
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