Britain’s biggest fatberg lives under Whitechapel

A “FATBERG”, said to be the biggest-ever in Britain, which weighs in at 130,000kg and stretches more than 850ft, has been discovered under the Whitechapel streets.

The monstrosity, comprising wet-wipes, nappies, fat and oil, and longer than two full-sized football pitches, end to end, has plugged the Victorian sewers.

Engineers are now waging war against this horrendous lump, using high-pressure hoses to dislodge the muck, which will then be sucked up into a fleet of tankers.

Matt Rimmer, Thames Water’s head of waste networks, said: “This fatberg is up there with the biggest we’ve ever seen. It’s a total monster, and it’s taking a lot of manpower and machinery to remove because it has set hard. Basically, it’s like trying to break up concrete.

“It is frustrating, because these situations are totally avoidable and caused by fat, oil and grease being washed down sinks, and wipes flushed down the loo.”

The last monster fatberg, which was Britain’s biggest until now, was discovered in Kingston-upon-Thames, south-west London, in 2013.

The new blockage is being attacked by an eight-strong crew, using high-powered jet hoses to break up the mass before sucking it out with tankers, which take it away for disposal at a recycling site in Stratford.

Inspections by CCTV camera shows the 47in high by 27in wide sewer, 11.5ft below the ground, to be totally blocked. And work will continue throughout September until the sewer is clear.

Mr Rimmer added: “We check our sewers routinely, but these things can build up really quickly and cause big problems with flooding, as the waste gets blocked.

“It’s fortunate in this case that we’ve had to close off only a few parking bays to get to the sewer. Often, we have to shut roads entirely, which can cause widespread disruption, especially in London.”

Thames Water spends around £1m a month clearing blockages from its sewers, all caused by such items as fat, wipes, nappies, cotton-buds, sanitary products and condoms.

The company has  launched a new campaign called “Bin it – don’t block it”, in a bid to reduce the amount of rubbish deposited in sinks and toilets.

Mr Rimmer said: “When it comes to preventing fatbergs, everyone has a role to play. Yes, a lot of the fat comes from food outlets, but the wipes and sanitary items are far more likely to be from domestic properties.”

He added: “The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish and our message to everyone is clear: please ‘Bin it – don’t block it’.”


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Posted by on Sep 15 2017. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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