Fatberg vanquished


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/03/fatberg-vanquished.html


I can well understand this. There is a small section of our drains that is level when it should be on a small slope. Periodically it has to be flushed with hot water, but the sump has to be cleared out by hand.
According to the local water treatment expert the main problem is all the unnecessary fat that goes into cleaning products these days. Shampoo and shower gel are laden with fats.



Soap in general is made from fat, yes?


Someone buy that cleaning crew a round or two of pints.


Once the’ve tidied up a bit, of course.


By hand? Ewwww ewwww ewwww ewwwww ewwwwwwwwwwww

And of course now my D&D brain is imagining a fatberg achieving dim sentience in the sewers beneath the city, and grossing myself out even more.



Fatbergs are what happens when a Gelatinous Cube and a Wall of Flesh love each other very much.


Soap is made from fats or oils, but it is not itself fat. Fats and oils are not, as we all learned in grade school, water soluble. The saponification process turns fat into soap, which is water soluble.

So I presume that Enkita’s comment means that shampoos and shower gels have lots of un-saponified oils in them that aren’t water soluble.


Right, but his comment got me thinking that some products had added fat (which he said), whereas most soaps may have residual fats in trace amounts (which he didn’t, but I wondered).


“Made from” does not mean “is”. E.g common salt is made from sodium and chlorine and has somewhat different properties. Wood is made from carbon dioxide, water and oxygen, but mixing them in a big retort won’t get you a table.

That is what I was given to understand.
There is also a general problem of waste cooking oil, which can convert into a substance with a higher melting point, and so solidify. And calcium salts which can precipitate soap from solution.
Putting soap down drains is benign because it tends to loosen particulates and so keep the tunnels clear.

Edit - Once you’ve changed enough nappies (diapers) and dealt with a few of what are technically called Marigold Incidents* on a boat, your ewww threshold tends to go up quite a lot.

*YMMV depending on your preferred national brand of long thick vinyl glove.


I did not think it meant that. But probably not clear from my short reply.


“It was beautiful. We were selling rich women their own fat asses back to them.”


Why? why why why do I insist on reading this while eating my lunch??


Latent masochism?



If people were truly paid for there worth to society these lads would be making millions whilst investment advisors would get the minimum.


Perhaps the sewer pipes / ducts should include a high pressure pipe with regular nozzles that could be used to introduce a blast of steam in the line periodically?


I googled but did not find any reference that fit…might that be the result of very bad seasickness?

What would a topic on fat be without these cute little beasties?


Given the topic I’ll bet you really won’t want to know once you find out. Classic case of Ignorance is Bliss I’ll wager.