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In the 1958 classic The Blob, an alien lifeform lands on earth and consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. Its resemblance was something that struck me as decidedly similar to the most recent environmental issue to arise this week: the discovery of a giant mass of congealed fat that has been discovered in an underground sewer in the leafy London borough of Kingston Upon Thames.
The ‘Fatberg,’ which consisted of 15 tonnes of lard, was discovered after it caused damage to the sewer system. In fact, if the ball hadn’t been discovered, raw and untreated sewage would have begun spurting out through manholes in Kingston within a matter of weeks with the sewer operating at just 5% of its normal capacity. Thames Water started repairs to 20 metres of damaged pipe yesterday, and work is expected to take up to six weeks to complete. This comes at an especially important time for Thames Water, who just last weekend were one of the water companies exposed for releasing large amounts of untreated sewage into British waterways over previous years (see Watergate article).
Fatbergs such as this are forming due to a lack of care from companies and individuals as to how they dispose of their waste products. The ball was made up predominately of fats, oils and grease (FOG’s) and other non-biodegradable products. Thames Water has since urged homes and businesses to try and change their ways, through considering how and what they dispose of. This advice is hardly surprising considering that the removal of such blockages is required 55,000 times each month across the UK and costs us £12m per year!
At Delphis Eco we are in support of this statement. Furthermore, as a result of our company being at the forefront of innovation to tackle current environmental issues, in our Bio Fizzy Tablets, we have a product that is designed to digest FOG’s and other wastes in a completely environmentally friendly and biodegradable way. The tablets use Bacillus bacteria technology, which are activated on contact with water and in doing so eat and destroy waste that they encounter. Whilst we are not able to change the habits of individuals overnight, we can provide a solution which anybody can utilise in order to reduce the risk of further fatbergs clogging up their own, and also public sewage systems. In doing so, we can help lower the risk of environmental damage resulting from sewer malfunctions and the release of unwanted FOG’s into our waterways.
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