Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Monster fatberg longer than two football pitches found clogging east London sewer

Monster fatberg longer than two football pitches found clogging east London sewer

Engineers from Thames Water are in Whitechapel today to start a three-week sewer "war" against a the 800ft long fatberg, one of the largest ever found in London.

Matt Rimmer, Thames Water's head of waste networks, said: "This fatberg is up there with the biggest we've ever seen".

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Thames Water said work will continue throughout September until the sewer is clear.

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The team will break down the fatberg using high-powered jet hoses before sucking it out with tankers, which take it away for disposal at a recycling site in Stratford.

The concrete-like blockage stretches across a sewer the length of more than four Wembley football pitches, and is lodged three-and-a-half metres below ground. That's 130 tonnes of plate-scrapings, condoms, congealed butter and whatever else the people and businesses of East London wedge down their plugholes instead of scraping out with their hands and putting in the bin, all put in lorries and taken to be recycled into school dinners or whatever they do with it.

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"When it comes to preventing fatbergs, everyone has a role to play", said Rimmer, in the company's statement. It's fortunate in this case that we've only had to close off a few parking bays to get to the sewer. Such blockages are caused by cooking fat, oil and grease being washed down sinks and wipes and disposable nappies flushed down the loo instead of put in waste disposal bins. "Often we have to shut roads entirely, which can cause widespread disruption - especially in London".

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