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News

Monster Fatberg in Whitechapel Sewer

14 September by Thomas Bullen

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It sounds like a horror movie and in some respects it is! This is the discovery by Thames Water of a huge build-up of fat, oil, wipes, nappies and other detritus that shouldn't be put down the sink/toilet, coagulating together and setting rock hard into a gigantic 'fatberg'!

Weighing the equivalent of 11 double decker buses (around 130 tonnes), the fatberg is blocking a stretch of sewer in Whitechapel, which is twice the length of Wembley football pitch and has set as hard as concrete, making it incredibly difficult to remove.

High powered jets are being used to break up the blockage and between 20 and 30 tonnes will be extracted every day until it is cleared.  

Thames Water will only have to close a few parking bays to gain access to the sewer, which is fortunate as often entire roads need to be shut.

The sewers are checked regularly, but blockages can build quickly and frustratingly they are totally avoidable if people were more mindful about what they put down the drains.

Thames Water spends around £1M every month clearing blockages, which are all caused by fat, wipes, nappies and sanitary products, and which is the equivalent to 3-4 blockages every hour.  

The moral of the story - be careful what you flush, because it could create a monster!

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