Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

'Monster' fatberg blocks sewer in London

'Monster' fatberg blocks sewer in London

They caution against expecting quick results as the fatberg is 250 yards long and weighs as much as 11 double-decker busses.

Thames Water, which has started a three-week "sewer war" against the monster, says that it is "a rock-solid mass of wet wipes, nappies [diapers], fat and oil weighing the same as 11 double decker buses".

Sewer workers investigating the 'berg say that over time it has solidified, and is now as hard to remove as concrete.

An eight-strong team of workers are using high-powered jet hoses to break up the fatberg before sucking it out of the sewer with tankers, according to Thames Water.

The giant fatberg blocking up major sewer under Whitechapel Road. The crews are removing 20 to 30 tonnes a day, working 8am to 5pm, seven days a week, removing the matter for disposal at a recycling site in Stratford.

Thames Water clears three fat blockages every hour across London and the Thames Valley, the company tells The Guardian - though most aren't as big as the one bedeviling London's sewers this week.

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

Inspections by CCTV showed that the sewer, which is 47 inches high and 27.6 inches wide is blocked by the fatberg. Parking bays have had to be cordon off while engineers get access to the sewer beneath the surface. Alex Saunders is a Waste Network Manager for Thames Water. "It's frustrating as these situations are totally avoidable and caused by fat, oil and grease being washed down sinks and wipes flushed down the loo", he added. It also visited food outlets earlier this year to discuss how they dispose of fat and food waste.

It costs the company around £1 million ($1.3 million, 1.1 million euros) a month to do so.

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