BALTIMORE (CBSNewYork/CBS Baltimore/AP) — A gigantic glob of congealed fat, wet wipes and other waste — deemed a “fatberg” because of its iceberg-like size — has been blamed for a sewer overflow in Baltimore.
The overflow discharged about 1.2 million gallons of sewage into the Jones Falls waterway last week.
The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that the fatberg was discovered in a sewer main near Baltimore Penn Station.
Public works officials said the walls of a century-old 24-inch wide pipe were caked with oils, grease and congealed fats. Up to 85 percent of the pipe was clogged, blocking the flow of sewage.
The fatberg has been mostly scraped off and sent to a landfill.
A fatberg estimated to weigh more than 140 tons was recently discovered in London’s sewer system. Officials say it could take weeks to be destroyed.
The city’s public works department has issued the following recommendations to avoid the formation of fatbergs:
- Do not put FOG (fats, oils, or grease) down the drain.
- During food preparation and cleanup, pour unused grease from the “pan to the can.” Once it solidifies in an empty can, put it in the trash.
- Do not flush “flushable” wipes; put them in the trash instead. Wet wipes don’t break down in water and create sewer blockages.
- The only items that should be considered flushable are human waste and toilet paper.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)