Robot finds pipe fatberg

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
A small remote-controlled camera was sent through the pipe network.
Camera IconA small remote-controlled camera was sent through the pipe network.

A “pipe monster” has been found growing below the streets of Harvey’s CBD.

Water Corporation crews sent a small remote-controlled camera to inspect the town’s wastewater system and found the pipes blocked with hardened cooking oils and fats, sometimes referred to as a “fatberg”.

The blockage was discovered during inspections being carried out through more than 27km of wastewater mains in Harvey, Manjimup and Brunswick.

Water Corporation South West regional manager, John Janssen said blockages like this are caused by cooking fats and oils poured down the sink of homes and businesses around town, which then congeal, harden and create blockages.

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“Using this high tech solution helps us monitor the wastewater system and this week we’ve detected a build-up in pipes near the post office in Harvey,” Mr Janssen said.

“If left to grow, this growing pipe monster would very likely cause a wastewater overflow somewhere along the system as the pressure builds, which could result in harm to the environment.”

Mr Janssen said the mindset of “out of sight, out of mind” was a common factor in these blockages.

“Properly disposing of fats and oils will not only help protect the environment and the wastewater system, but also potentially save you money from having to call a plumber to fix any internal blockages,” he said.

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