High cost of maintaining sewer systems

Yarra Valley Water has highlighted the cost of removing fatbergs from the sewer system in the Yarra Ranges in Victoria, reminding customers to be mindful of what they put down the drain.

In the last two years, removing fatbergs from the sewer system in the Yarra Ranges has cost the community over $225,000.

Pat McCafferty, Managing Director at Yarra Valley Water, said that the amount of fat, oil, and grease going down the drain is a growing concern, with everything that goes down the drain ending up in the sewer system.

“Everyone benefits from well-functioning sewer systems, and while it’s not something that’s top of mind for most people, our sewers play a fundamental role in supporting the community’s health and well-being,” Mr McCafferty said.

“By putting things down the drain which shouldn’t be there, you can damage and block pipes for households and businesses, and cause serious damage to our sewer system and the environment. When fats, oils and grease cool they turn into solids, this sticky mess causes blockages and clings to other things in the sewer which shouldn’t be there, such as wet wipes and tree roots. These blockages can cause sewage spills both inside and outside of the home.

“It is also important that business customers are doing their part and have the right equipment, such as a grease trap to stop fats and oils entering the sewer, and that these are regularly maintained.

“Nasty odours, damage to pipes and expensive plumbing bills can all be avoided by not putting fats, oils and grease down the drain. We see the scale and damage at the end point of the sewer system, with pipes and pumps at our sewage treatment plants damaged, blocked or covered in fatty residue.”

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