American "super fatberg"™ threatens the UK coastline (but only on April 1st!)
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A team of drains experts from Dyno are working closely with oceanographers and meteorologists to prevent the impact of the 20 tonne ‘super fatberg’, which is currently floating across the Atlantic.
Dyno must wait for the berg to strike land before it can be broken up by high-speed water jets and specialist cutting equipment.
When fats and oils are flushed or poured down drains, they solidify. Fats congeal around other wrongly flushed waste material, such as wipes, nappies, tissues and sanitary products.
The new ‘super fatberg’ is thought to have formed after the Superbowl, a peak period for disposal of waste fats as Americans enjoy millions of mini burgers known as ‘sliders’. Superbowl half time is also the peak time for bathroom breaks. After this, sewer services are working round the clock to keep things flowing.
In busy times like this, smaller bergs are sometimes released into the ocean to break up. But the quantity of waste, combined with water currents and strong seasonal wind patterns, have created a situation similar to the eye of a hurricane, with the giant fatberg at the centre.
It is thought that up to 28 smaller bergs have come together to form a giant ‘super fatberg’ the size of a football pitch.
It is impossible to break up in open water, so Dyno’s local teams are on standby across the south west and south Wales, ready to fight the fatberg.
Michael Bruce, National Co-Ordinator at Dyno, says: “This fatberg is the biggest of its kind seen yet, but we’re confident our local experts can work together to prevent catastrophe from striking. We are also calling on the general public to watch what they flush, to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the UK during the FA Cup final in May.”
Fatbergs are a growing problem for sewers and drains around the UK. In November 2014 a fatberg recorded to be the size of a bus was removed from a London sewer.
Ocean waste is also a growing international issue: the North Atlantic garbage patch is a mass of marine waste estimated to affect hundreds of kilometres of open ocean. The Great Pacific garbage patch is a similar problem in the North Pacific Ocean.
The above article was written as an April Fool's joke. But remember, what we flush away can have a big impact on the environment, and on drainage systems.