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Thames Water clears bus-sized fatberg from London sewer

A huge 40-tonne fatberg blocking a sewer in South London has been cleared by engineers from Thames Water.

The mass, which weighed the same as three red buses, was clogging up an underground sewer in Greenwich and was discovered earlier this year.

Determined workers from Thames Water spent three weeks clearing the fatberg, using a combination of high-powered water jets to blast the blockage loose and removing the debris by hand.

They pulled out tonnes of fat, grease and other material as they battled the fatberg, which at points had taken up 80% of the sewer’s capacity.

If left, it could have grown even bigger and caused problems in the waste network, including sewage backing up into homes and businesses.

Fatbergs are formed when fat, grease and oil is poured down sinks or drains and combines with “unflushable” items like wet wipes, nappies and cotton buds.

Matt Rimmer, Thames Water’s head of waste networks, said: “This was a massive and disgusting blockage that took a great deal of effort and teamwork to clear and get the sewer working well again.

“I’m happy that our team was able to get down and work hard to quickly to clear the fatberg before it could cause problems for our customers and the environment.

“We’d urge everyone to help fight the fatberg by only flushing the 3Ps - pee, poo and paper – as well as disposing of fat and oils in the bin, not the sink.”

Author: Alec Peachey,
Topic: Sewer Networks
Tags: nappies , Thames Water , water , sewage , fatberg , wet wipes , environment


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