Massive globules of fat and other waste have been detected in sewers, including a seven-metre monster that had to be removed by crane.
Massive globules of fat and other waste have been detected in sewers, including a seven-metre monster that had to be removed by crane.

GROSS! The giant fatbergs lurking in our sewers

MORE THAN 450 fatbergs were found in southeast sewers last financial year, promoting waste authorities to urge Queenslanders to stop "feeding the fatberg" by pouring fats down the sink. 

Urban Utilities spokeswoman Michelle Cull said fatbergs are a huge problem in Queensland's local sewerage networks.

Between June 2018 and July this year, more than 450 fatbergs were found in the underground sewers of the southeast.

A fatberg found in the sewers under the Brisbane suburb of West End.
A fatberg found in the sewers under the Brisbane suburb of West End.

"Fatbergs occur when cooking fats or oils that are poured down the sink solidify in the sewer pipe and meet up with other nasties people shouldn't be flushing like wet wipes, and form a big flat blob," Ms Cull said.

"They block the sewers."

Urban Utilities spend around $2 million each year clearing blockages from their southeast sewers, a large proportion of which are caused by fatbergs.   

The congealed masses also cause blockages to household plumbing. 

"If you did get a fatberg blockage it can cause sewage to back up inside your home which isn't very pleasant and can land you with quite a large plumbing fee," Ms Cull said.

Two monster fatbergs were found in the sewers of London on Monday; one weighing 63-tonnes was cleared from a sewer below Pall Mall while another 30-tonne blockage was cleared near the city's south bank on Monday.

Urban Utilities spokeswoman says fatbergs can cause sewage to back up into homes.
Urban Utilities spokeswoman says fatbergs can cause sewage to back up into homes.

"We don't see fatbergs as big as the ones in London because the sewer pipes in London are a lot larger, however we have seen some big fatbergs in our local network," Ms Cull said.

The largest fatberg to have been found in the southeast was underneath Campbell St in Bowen Hills.

The seven metre long fatberg was so big it had to be removed with a crane.

Ms Cull urged Queenslanders to avoid "feeding the fatberg" during Christmas celebrations.

"It's seem very convenient to just pour the cooking oil down the sink, but we don't seem to think about the problems that will cause deep underground in the pipes," she said.

"So we urge everybody to wipe the grease from pans with a paper towel or pour cooking oils into a container and throw it in the bin.

"Also avoid washing other fatty foods down the sink such as gravy, dips and cream."



As drug crime soars, here's what Kingaroy cops are doing

Premium Content As drug crime soars, here's what Kingaroy cops are doing

In the past two years drug offence statistics have more than doubled in Kingaroy...

Gympie region sewage not being tested for COVID-19

Premium Content Gympie region sewage not being tested for COVID-19

Gympie treatment plants are not part of the pilot wastewater surveillance program...