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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Fatbergs have been in the news again lately with a 64-metre growth having been discovered just after Christmas in the sewers serving Sidmouth in Devon. My links with the cleaning industry have led to some interesting debates about the various causes of these disgusting blockages and as well as the obvious culprits, such as careless householders and businesses emptying fats, oils and food debris into the sink and flushing wet wipes down the toilet, the finger was pointed at the design of sinks, toilets and flushing systems as well as our industry's drive to create products that use less water.

Clearly we need to continue to cut the volume of water we use wherever possible and I'm surprised that in my years in the KBB industry I've seen so little of systems that use greywater. The basins which empty into the toilet cistern, which I used to see a decade ago and thought were a wonderful idea, don't seem to have caught on as I expected them to. Likewise I can recall writing with enthusiasm about a shower that used filtered, recycled water but have never learnt of any that have actually been installed.

Is work still being done on this type of product or has the expense of research and the likely costs potential buyers would face in acquiring and fitting such new technology, deterred designers from pursuing this solution to conserving our precious water supplies?

Are retailers instructing customers to take care with the disposal of fats and oils, and warning that even if the wet wipe box says the wipes can be flushed, it's a silly thing to do? Are retailers offering fat traps with any sinks they sell and telling buyers or kitchens and bathrooms how to keep their pipework free flowing?

If you've never seen a fatberg in situ, here's a link to a short video. Does it make you want to take action and do whatever you can to prevent their formation? I'd love to know: www.bbc.co.uk




Jan Hobbs



18th January 2019

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