Ma­comb Co. ‘fat­berg’ prompts plea to res­i­dents for change

The Detroit News - - Region - BY CHARLES E. RAMIREZ The Detroit News

A giant blob of solid waste, or fat­berg, has been re­moved from a Ma­comb County sewer line, of­fi­cials said.

Ma­comb County Pub­lic Works Com­mis­sioner Candice Miller said the mass is the county’s largest her depart­ment’s work­ers can re­mem­ber.

The 100-foot-long glob was found in an 11-foot di­am­e­ter pipe called the Lakeshore In­ter­cep­tor. The pipe is lo­cated about 50 feet be­low ground and runs from 15 Mile north to 21 Mile be­tween Gra­tiot and In­ter­state 94. It serves Clin­ton, Har­ri­son, Ch­ester­field and Lenox town­ships as well as the vil­lage of New Haven.

Of­fi­cials said the fat­berg was 11 feet wide and as tall as six feet in some places and con­sisted of fats, oils and grease that col­lected in the pipe and mixed with solids flushed into the sewer, such as baby wipes. They also said it weighed about 19 tons.

Work­ers re­moved the blob by break­ing it up with hand saws and shov­els, ac­cord­ing to the pub­lic works of­fice. It was sucked up with a vac­uum truck. The solids are be­ing dis­posed of in a land­fill and the liq­uids are be­ing re­turned to the sewer sys­tem, of­fi­cials said.

Re­mov­ing the fat­berg

$100,000, they also said.

cost

about

“We want to use this as a teach­able mo­ment if we can to get folks to change their be­hav­ior to­wards what they’re putting down in the sewer,” Miller said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Thurs­day held at a Clin­ton Town­ship pump­ing sta­tion near where the fat­berg was found. “There’s an enor­mous cost (to re­mov­ing fat­bergs) and we’re all pay­ing for it. We don’t want to con­tinue to do it.”

Ma­comb County Pub­lic Works Of­fice

Ma­comb County of­fi­cials said this mass of fats, oil, grease, waste and solids weighed 19 tons and cost $100,000 to re­move from a sewer line.

Max Or­tiz / The Detroit News

Ma­comb County Pub­lic Works Com­mis­sioner Candice Miller de­scribes a fat­berg, a col­lec­tion of fats, oils and grease that col­lect in a pipe and are mixed with solid items that are flushed down sewer pipes, such as baby wipes, that was re­moved by pub­lic works em­ploy­ees.

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