Freephone 0800 043 5452 Office Mobile 07703 193 746

What is a fatberg?

Have you ever wondered what a fatberg is? Read our latest blog to find out more!

  • Wednesday, 10 January 2024 3:37 pm
  • Jack Stonehouse
5 min read (627 words)


As we well know here at The Drain Guys, a drain can become blocked by a number of different offenders, but there is one in particular that crops up again and again on a day-to-day basis. It’s the enemy of drains, as well as drain clearance contractors like us. It is, of course, the dreaded fatberg. 

In this article, we’ll be looking at what a fatberg is, what causes them, and what can be done about them, so that, hopefully, you can avoid having a fatberg inconvenience you in the future.

What is a fatberg?

A fatberg is a blockage in a drainage system that is made up of fats, oils and, often, wet wipes and various sanitary products. When these materials accumulate, they solidify into something that can then prevent the drain operating as it should. 

One of the biggest fatbergs ever discovered was found by Thames Water under Whitechapel in London in 2017. It was a whopping 250 metres long, and 130 tonnes in weight!

What causes a fatberg?

Fatbergs are caused by materials being flushed or washed away within the home that really should be disposed of in another way. This includes kitchen grease and oils, as well as those wet wipes, which are bad for your drainage system, and the environment too.

How do you know if you’ve got a fatberg? 

If you find that your sinks, baths and showers are slow to drain, there are foul odours emitting from plugholes, there are strange gurgling sounds coming from your drainage system, or your toilet isn’t flushing properly, chances are there’s a blockage. It could be caused by a fatberg!

What can be done to get rid of fatbergs?

If DIY drain cleaners have done nothing to clear the blockage, a drainage expert can help. They can locate the fatberg quickly, and use high pressure jets to blast the fatberg and clear it from the system. By breaking down the fatberg, it can float away in smaller chunks, and therefore we dealt with manually at the nearest sewerage works.

How can you prevent fatbergs? 

As always, prevention is better than a cure, so the main aim is to avoid a fatberg in the first place. The main way to do this is to be very mindful of what you put down your drains. This includes not pouring grease, fat or oil down the sink, scraping leftover food into the bin, and only flushing the three P’s (pee, poo and paper) down the toilet. 

Another handy way to stop the gradual build up of kitchen waste in your drainage system is to install a trap over your sink’s plug hole, so no scraps of food end up going down into your drains.

What to do if you think your drain is blocked by a fatberg

If your drain is showing signs of a blockage, we’d always recommend giving an expert drainage company a call, like us here at The Drain Guys. We cover many locations within the south east of England, including Guildford, Brighton, South London, Tonbridge, Portsmouthand Horsham. 

Our expert team is on hand 24/7 to attend to drainage emergencies, with no call-out charge; we find that just paying for the work we complete is the fairest way to do things. Don’t let fatbergs disrupt your daily life - give The Drain Guys a call and we’ll get things flowing freely in no time.

WinCan City & Guilds Qualified CHAS Accredited Safe Contractor Constructionline Gold Member