A huge fatberg, almost twice the weight of a space shuttle, has finally been dislodged from a London sewer; Thames Water is taking the opportunity to warn Londoners against tipping grease down the sink and objects such as underwear down the toilet.
A huge “fatberg” which blocked a London sewer for months was finally uprooted on Friday after a nine-week effort by engineers.
The 130-ton mass of congealed fat, oil, wet wipes and other sanitary products had been lodged in a meter-high sewer, four meters below the Whitechapel Road in east London. In the end, workers were forced to use shovels to remove the offensive mountain of waste.
“The good news is it has helped Thames Water and other water companies around the world get the message across that cooking fat, oils and grease should never go down the plughole. As you have seen, when combined with wet wipes, sanitary products, underwear, nappies, and anything else that shouldn’t be flushed, we’re faced with having to clear out these giant, rock-hard fatbergs,” Thames Water waste network manager, Alex Saunders, said.
On Twitter, the water company employees were congratulated for their mammoth effort in clearing the “fatberg,” which at 130 tons weighed more than a blue whale or almost twice the weight of the 78-ton Space Shuttle Endeavor.
Other social media users wondered if the waste could be put to use somehow.
Thames Water says it clears around 85,000 blockages a year from its 108,000 km sewer network and is stepping up a campaign to encourage food outlets to effectively manage waste fats, oils and grease. According to research it conducted in Oxford, 95% of food establishments were contributing to sewer blockages by having inadequate or no kitchen grease management.