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What is a fatberg?

What is 820 feet long, weighs 130 tons, and feels like solid rock? If you’re stumped by this riddle, you’re probably not alone. The answer is a new phenomenon—it’s a “fatberg” removed from the London sewer system in 2017.

What are fatbergs?

With a name like fatberg, it’s gotta be bad. Indeed it is. Fatbergs are gigantic masses of oil and grease mixed with bathroom waste found in sewage systems around the world. They congeal to create concrete-like, stationary blockages inside municipal sewage systems. Cities with aging infrastructure, like London and New York City, are particularly vulnerable to fatbergs.

Why are fatbergs happening now?

From home cooks to restaurant chefs, people have been discarding kitchen grease down the drain for a long time. This habit has always been tough on sewage pipes, but it’s never had such an extreme impact until now. Why? Officials point to “flushable” wipes, also known as wet wipes, that people flush down the toilet after using the bathroom.

“Flushable” wipes do not biodegrade

Wet wipes have surged in popularity in recent years, and yes, people are able to flush them. But, for the sake of our shared infrastructure, no one should. The problem comes when the wipes flow from individual homes and merge into larger water systems. The wipes do not disintegrate or biodegrade. Instead they remain in the sewage system, where they bind together with masses of other waste.

How can I fight the fatberg?

After using the toilet, some people find wet wipes to be a more comfortable alternative to dry, scratchy toilet paper. But given that the wet wipe habit is costing municipalities billions of dollars in maintenance every year, there has to be a better way.

A bidet seat, like the Coway Bidetmega, offers the infrastructure-friendly solution. With a bidet, you don’t need to use wipes. (Plus you’ll end up buying a lot less toilet paper.) The Coway Bidetmega attaches to any standard toilet, and you can customize its cleansing process to your liking. As a result, you’ll feel more comfortable—and more fully clean—after using the toilet. Your local sewage system will thank you, too.