Two monster fatbergs weighing almost 100 tonnes have been cleared by Thames Water in time for Christmas.
Underground teams recently defeated the sewer beasts – made of drained cooking fat, wet wipes, sanitary products and other unflushables – which were threatening to cause wastewater to flood homes and businesses over the festive period.
A rancid lump weighing a whopping 63 tonnes was carved from a Pall Mall sewer, while a second subterranean giant, weighing 30 tonnes and stretching 70 metres, was removed from the sewers of Cathedral Street, near the Shard.
Thames Water say the discoveries serve as a timely reminder for people to take care of how they dispose of cooking fat, especially from roast turkey, over the Christmas period.
Stephen Pattenden, Thames Water network manager, said: “Fatbergs are like monsters from the deep, lurking and growing under our feet, and the team worked around the clock to defeat these two before they could cause damage to our customers or the environment.
“We’ve all seen the problems and damage they cause, and I’d therefore ask everyone to please make sure they don’t pour fats and oils down the sink. By letting the fat cool, putting it in a proper container like a glass jar and then in the bin stops a fatberg growing into a monster.”
Thames Water has just launched a campaign asking people to think about what they put down the drain, calling on them to be ‘Everyday Sewper Heroes’. By making sure unflushables such as cooking fat, oil and grease, plastic wipes and cotton buds are binned means everyone is fighting the fatberg.
Stephen added: “Fatbergs are a vivid reminder to us all that out of sight is not gone forever, and each year we have to deal with 75,000 blockages across our network at a cost of £18 million. Many of these could easily be avoided.
“It’s an extremely difficult job getting them out of our sewers. It’s cramped, hot and very unpleasant, especially when a chunk of fatberg is disturbed. The smell can be overpowering. So that everyone can have a happy Christmas, please bin your fat and wipes and don’t feed the fatberg.”
The Pall Mall fatberg contained several tonnes of concrete which had to be broken up by engineers using power tools and then carried out by hand. It comes months after Thames Water had to remove a 100 metre ‘Concreteberg’ from underneath Islington, while a 40-tonne fatberg was also cleared from a Greenwich sewer last month. In late 2017, Thames Water defeated the world-famous 130 tonne Whitechapel fatberg.