NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is trying to educate New Yorkers about fatbergs.
Cooking grease or oils poured down the drain and wipes flushed down the toilet meet in the sewer system and form a congealed mass known as a fatberg. Basically, it is an accumulation of anything that shouldn't be flushed. And it is the enemy of wastewater facilities.
"It really is a huge problem. It's the enemy of the ability to treat waste water," Deputy Commissioner Pam Elardo says.
DEP screens remove 53,000 tons a year, costing the city $19 million to transport all of the congealed waste to landfills.
Congealed grease bonds together into something that feels like concrete.
"When flushable products really got marketed more strongly, you saw a big increase," Elardo says.
The next time you're about to flush something down the toilet just remember the four Ps: Poop, pee, puke, and toilet paper. Those are the only things that should be flushed.
"If it doesn't come out of you, it doesn't belong in the loo," Elardo says.