Dublin: -2 °C Friday 1 December, 2023
down the drain

14-tonne 'fatberg' discovered in London sewers

It’s a giant blob of congealed fat and wet wipes.

The ‘fatberg’ (AP Photo/Thames Water)

DRAINAGE WORKERS IN London’s sewers have discovered the UK’s biggest ever “fatberg” – a 14-tonne blob of congealed fat and baby wipes.

That’s enough “wrongly flushed festering food fat mixed with wet wipes” to fill a double-decker bus, according to utility company Thames Water.

Thames Water deals with fatbergs all the time, thanks to the widespread use of household oil and food fat. Few reach the mammoth size of the one found under a road in the London suburb of Kingston.

This blockage — built up over an estimated six months — was discovered after residents in nearby apartment buildings were unable to flush their toilets.

This video may be more than you want to see:

YouTube/Graeme Sanderson

Examination found that the mound of fat had reduced the 70cm by 48cm sewer to just five percent of its normal capacity. It damaged the sewers so badly that it will take six weeks to repair them.

The company said  it was sharing news of the massive lard lump in hopes that customers will think twice about what they dump down the drain. It also released video footage of the fatberg, filmed by a remote vehicle gliding through the sewer.

The company says untreated fatbergs cause flooding and backups.

“It’s very lucky we caught this one,” said Craig Rance, a spokesman for Thames Water.

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Associated Foreign Press
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