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Five facts we learned at our 2019 European Fog Summit
- It is estimated, based on a European project called RecOil, that 25% of the energy costs in wastewater treatment plants is associated with FOG.
- It has been projected that in the year 2050, two-thirds of the global population will be living in an urban environment.
- The term “fatberg” was introduced into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015
- In Canada, it is estimated that C$250 million is being wasted every year through people putting things in the toilet, rather than in a bin.
- There are already more sensors in the world than there are people.
And some of our favorite quotes from the event
I am passionate about protecting my community and my community is not only in London, it’s not only Ontario, and it’s not only Canada, it is the world.
Barry Orr, Sewer Outreach and Control Inspector, City of London, Ontario
We used to have about 40% of our blockages related to fats, oils, and grease, we had a list of about 101 sites that we had to visit more frequently. I’m really proud to say that today we’ve dropped that list down to 26 sites. We have not had a blockage in four years related to fats, oils, and grease.
So, wipes are really handy. But can you actually flush them? How can you recognise the wipes that you can flush and those we can’t? Well, let’s just start right there. So far there is no wipe that I have seen that has met the wastewater criteria.
I’d like to see us celebrate our successes a little bit more because the wastewater professionals are doing great things, we just don’t know what everybody is doing. We need to celebrate success because I know it’s happening.
Don’t underestimate the challenge that FOG represents. It seems like it’s a very simple proposition to separate something. Having been around the industry for 15 years, listening to people over North America and across the world, it’s clearly not that straightforward.
Andrew Bird, Lead Futurologist, Futurologies Consulting
So, there’s always going to be FOG in the system. Can we reprocess it in a different way? Actually, take this stuff and use it as a resource?
Sewer networks are a digestion function for a city – what goes in, must go out.
Barbara Anton, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, Germany
The whole idea of the circular economy is very much in our mind. Using waste in a way that is not waste anymore but a resource. Wastewater is very much the basis of the circular economy.
I think there is a big opportunity to collaborate more between the industry and academia.
Tom Curran, University College Dublin
We don’t call grease traps “traps” anymore because they’re not a trap. That means they would then be used for preventing sewer gas from entering the building but many of those designs don’t do that. So we call them hydromechanical grease interceptors. Nobody knows what hydromechanical is, honestly. They just invented a name back in 2006 and we went with it.
Ken Loukes, Interceptor Whisperer, Vancouver
By 2030, we want all waste to be turned into a source.
Karyn Georges, Head of Wastewater Consulting at Isle Utilities, UK