‘Fatbergs’ are a reminder of what not to flush

Apr 29, 2019

A slimy, grimy ball of goop is garnering a bit of attention on West Haven City’s Facebook page. It came out of a sewer pump Monday, pulled out in part by the city.

“I’ll bet we probably spend at least two or three days each month taking care of those types of things,” John Wallace, superintendent over sewer and water in West Haven, said. “They tend to plug up our pumps and wrap around the wiring.”

The basketball-sized mass is what’s known as a “fatberg.” The name was coined after one weighing over a hundred tons plugged up the sewer system in London.

Wallace said the globs have fairly recently become a more common occurrence, thanks mostly to what are considered "flushable wipes." Wallace said that while they may flush down the toilet, they cause big problems further down the drain.

“They don’t dissolve, or break down quick enough,” Wallace explained. “They’re kind of tough.”

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