Fatbergs clogging municipal drains

The District of Muskoka is asking residents to help them fight the “fatbergs”.

The district says fatbergs are large masses that can form in your home and in Muskoka’s sewage pipes and pumps. They are made up of fats, oils and fats that should not be thrown down the drain.

Once cooled and hardened, they stick to pipes and pumps and combine with things like wipes and feminine products that also don’t need to be rinsed off, the lump turns into a giant fatberg that can clog pipes in the sewage system and pipes inside your home.

The district is urging residents, homeowners and businesses to think before pouring. Only flush the three (3) P’s: pee, poo and toilet paper – never pour fats, oils and grease down the drain.

The district says there is no “flush wipe down the toilet” and residents should only flush the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper. The following items will cause hangs. Don’t flush them, even if they seem small, and go down your toilet or flush them.

  • No wipes (even those labeled flushable)
  • No feminine hygiene products
  • No dental floss
  • No tissues
  • No paper towels
  • No drugs/prescriptions

Products that say they can be flushed down the toilet – like wipes – may end up in your toilet, but they may not go down the drain. There are currently no regulations specifying which products can be labeled “flushable”.

Clogged drains can cause:

  • backflow of raw sewage into your home and that of your neighbors
  • raw sewage overflows into neighborhood yards, parks and streets
  • service interruptions, including water outages
  • potential contact with pathogenic bacteria
  • basement and/or sewer line cleanings likely messy and expensive, as they may not be covered by your landlord’s insurance policy
  • increased operating and maintenance costs for the district, resulting in increased sewer and water rates for residents

For more tips and to learn morevisit our website at www.muskoka.on.ca. Thank you for your help in maintaining essential water and wastewater services in our communities.

Melissa C. Keyes