In Britain, at Christmas turkey time, the drains always border on indigestion. This year the company South West Water, a private supplier of drinking water, made a very funny recommendation to the public: do not pour the fat from the Christmas turkey down the sink or toilet.
It must be said that this advice is not as anecdotal as that. The oil from the turkey causes huge blockages in the pipes, called “fatberg” (a word combining fat and berg, like the iceberg), as described in a BBC article.
Several weeks to overcome a “fat mountain”
With a large amount of fat, mixed with waste that should never have ended up in the pipes (cigarettes, cotton swabs, etc.), a “fat mountain” is formed. The beginning of a puzzle for sewer workers.
In Birmingham in 2021, it took almost a month for sewer workers to overcome a giant blockage in the pipes. In Plymouth in 2019, it took several weeks to defeat another large ball.
During cooking, a turkey sweats 43 centiliters of fat. If all South West Water customers (one million) fun to evacuate this material in the pipes, it would be equivalent to 2,800 bathtubs full of grease. It was worth a little reminder.