Recently, the city launched a campaign to make residents more aware of fatbergs, or "fat icebergs," which are human-created nightmares found in our sewer systems. These are basically garbage monsters, and they not only clog the sewers, they are costly, disgusting... and yet, for some reason we can't stop looking at them. Should we name this one? Please name this fatberg in our comments. It is the mascot we all deserve.

These "masses of congealed grease and personal hygiene products" have caused big problems across the pond, and NYC's Department of Environmental Protection wants to make sure we don't reach British Fatberg Levels. (Over there they have gotten up to the size of "11 double decker buses and stretching the length" of two soccer fields.)

The above photo is what they've been seeing more often in New York City, which is more like a pre-fatberg, the beginning of a fatberg, a fatberg's origin story. This one was blocking the sewer from draining last month in South Jamaica, Queens.

The NYC DEP's Edward Timbers told Gothamist that in the last full fiscal year, "There were more than 2,100 confirmed sewer back-ups citywide that were caused by grease and wipes, which comprises nearly 90 percent of total sewer backups." In 2017, they took "53,269 TONS of debris — mostly wipes — off of our treatment plant screens and transported them to landfill."

There are about 7,500 miles of sewers under NYC, Timbers told us, adding that they are regularly cleaned. "As of yet we have not come across anything like the size of what was found in London, Baltimore or Charleston," he says, "But wipes/grease are a problem here, across the country and around the world."

Check out their newly launched website,, for tips on what you can do to help stop fatbergs in the city.