With Christmas just around the corner, Water Corporation has encouraged households to ensure they dispose of foods in the right way – especially fat, oil and grease.



Water Corporation spokesperson, Clare Lugar, said many people mistakenly thought it was okay to pour fat from Christmas lunch or dinner straight down the sink.


"If this solidifies in your home’s internal plumbing or wastewater pipes it creates a blockage, which can cause wastewater to back up in the system and possibly overflow," Ms Lugar said.


"That is not the kind of gift you want to receive this Christmas, especially if it occurs inside your home.


“Pour fat from your Christmas ham and grease from the barbeque into a container and dispose of it in the bin. Also, don’t dispose of food scraps down the sink, these also belong in the bin.


“This extra effort will protect your home and the 13,000 kilometres of wastewater mains we look after across Perth and Mandurah.


“In 2016-17, nearly 40 per cent all wastewater blockages in Perth were caused by fat, oil, grease and items such as rags and wet wipes accumulating in the wastewater system. All of which are avoidable if these are disposed of correctly.”


For more information, watch Water Corporation’s education campaign about the ‘monster’ that forms in the wastewater system, which is fed by fat, oil, grease and wet wipes.


Did you know?

  • Last year, a ‘fatberg’ was discovered in London that was more than 250 metres long and was the size of 11 double-decker buses. The fatberg was mostly congealed fat, wet wipes and nappies.
  • The word fatberg was added to the Oxford dictionary in 2015 and denotes a ‘large lump of cooking fat and other waste which has congealed and hardened after being poured down a drain, or a very large mass of waste found blocking a sewage system.’
  • In New York, around 71 per cent of blockages in the city’s wastewater system were caused by fat, oil and grease.
  • Closer to home - last year near Newcastle in NSW, a 7 metre long blockage of congealed wet wipes weighing 750 kilograms was pulled from the wastewater system.
  • Perth experienced its own ‘monster’ about five years ago, with a congealed mass of rags, wet wipes and other things that should not have been in the wastewater system forming a giant ball which was removed at a wastewater pump station in Munster. Refer to image above.

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