I first heard the term”fatberg” about a year ago when there was a giant one stuck beneath London (you can read about it here). This morning, the Detroit Free Press had a more local story about a Michigan-made fatberg in Livonia. What is a fatberg? It is as disgusting and horrifying as it sounds. It is a ball of cooking grease, oils and fats mixed with everything from sanitary products, baby wipes and paper towels. In Macomb County, the fatberg was 100 feet long, 11 feet wide and six feet tall.
The moral of the fatberg story is that there are things that shouldn’t be flushed – or poured down the drain. Unless something is easily biodegradeable it should be disposed of in the trash. And being easily biodegradeable and being labeled as “flushable or biodegradeable” are two different things. Though most wipes can biodegrade, flushing them down the toilet doesn’t allow enough time for that to happen. Instead they can get stuck – either in your system or in ours. Simply put – if it isn’t a normal bodily function and it isn’t toilet paper – don’t flush it.
Other things you shouldn’t pour down the sink or flush down the toilet: scouring pads; clothing, plastics, greases and oils as well as paints, flammable liquids and medication. This list comes from our Waste Treatment Superintendent and he and his staff has seen it all. If you need to get rid of paint or flammable liquids the MidMichigan Waste Authority hosts drop offs throughout the year to dispose of those items. The Frankenmuth Police Department will dispose of unwanted medication and prescription pills. If you have questions, just call us at 989-652-9901.
The City is very proud of how we run and maintain our sanitary sewer and waste treatment facilities – in fact we like to consider the Waste Treatment Plant more of a “clean water plant” once we’re finished. Help us keep up the good work.
Want to talk more about fatbergs or other infrastructure-related anomalies? Let me know.