We hate to break it to you, Brisbane, but you have a fatberg problem.
Large blockages formed by discarded oil, fats and waste products are responsible for hundreds of clogged sewers across the city, the ABC reports.
Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) reckon one in four people are pouring cooking oils down the sink, causing issues across the city’s sewer network. The 4000 blockages QUU is currently dealing with every year across Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and the Scenic Rim costs rate payers $1.5 million.
What’s worse? The problem is heightened in winter when cooler conditions lead to more blockages as fat solidifies faster. In the process it collects wet wipes, nappies, condoms and other detritus that’s been chucked down the drain. Invasive tree roots can also make matters worse.
"There are simple things people can do around their house to stop your winter warmers becoming a titanic fatberg problem," QUU spokesperson Sally Prosser is quoted in the ABC story as saying. For starters, she recommends pouring leftover fat into a jar before disposing of it in the bin.
"We are waste-water treaters ... we are not garbage collectors, so the sink or the toilet should not be treated like a rubbish bin," she said.
And if you think you can kick the can down the storm water drain on this one, Prosser says it’s likely affecting your household pipes too.