Fatbergs are brewing under Brisbane's streets
QUEENSLAND Urban Utilities is urging Brisbane residents to avoid pouring cooking oil down the sink following a rise in "fatberg" blockages.
QUU spokeswoman Sally Prosser said the winter months saw more than 4000 blockages across the Brisbane region, with many due to cooking fats.
"Hot cooking fats go down the sink as a liquid, but when they enter the sewer they cool and solidify into a smelly mass," she said.
"The pipes are colder in winter, so this solidification process happens faster and can cause blockages in your household plumbing as well as our system.
"We spend $1.5 million a year clearing more than 4000 blockages from our network, and fat is a big contributing factor."
A Queensland Urban Utilities survey found one in four people washed cooking oils down the kitchen sink.
It also found 50 per cent of people tip leftover sauces and dips down the plughole, while almost 15 per cent wash food scraps down the sink.
"During the colder months, people are enjoying more hearty meals, which tend to be higher in fat, such as roasts, soups and casseroles," Ms Cull said.
"There are simple ways you can prevent your winter warmers turning into foul fatbergs, such as scraping leftovers into the bin instead of the sink.
"You could also wipe the grease from pans with a paper towel or pour cooking oils into a container and throw it in the bin.
"The message is simple - 'think at the sink' - and avoid a titanic plumbing problem."
Fatbergs have caused issues internationally, with a "total monster" weighing 130 tonnes disrupting sewer pipes in London last year.
It took workers almost three weeks to remove and the "fatberg" has since gone on display at the Museum of London.