Thames Water discovers 'fatberg' in Kingston
Thames Water has removed a "bus-sized lump" of fat mixed with wet wipes that had formed in drains under a road in Kingston, Surrey.
The company said sewage flooding of homes, streets and businesses could have resulted if the fat had not been removed. The blockage was discovered after residents in nearby flats complained they could not flush their toilets.
CCTV investigations found the mound of fat had reduced the 70x48cm sewer to just 5% of its normal capacity.
Thames Water will repair 20m of pipe over the next six weeks that was damaged by the fat.
Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor for Thames Water, said: "While we've removed greater volumes of fat from under central London in the past, we've never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before.
“Given we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we’ve encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history.
“The sewer was almost completely clogged with over 15 tonnes of fat. If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston."
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