London Water Officials Battle Massive Fatberg The Length Of A 747 Blocking The Sewer

(Thames Water)

(Thames Water)

If you aren’t a believer in the power of the fatberg, perhaps this recent find will strike fear into your toilet’s heart: London water officials had to fight a fatberg made from wet wipes, fatty masses and other debris the length of a Boeing 747 that plugged up the sewer system recently, threatening to flood area homes and businesses.

Getting that clean feeling down below and improperly tossing cooking fats has led to this new behemoth, a fatty, congealed garbage berg that formed under a 262-foot stretch of sewer under a Londom road, officials with Thames Water say.

That meant workers had to get down there and break up the congealed blockage of disgustingness using high powered jets of water, in order to prevent the sewer from overflowing peoples’ toilets.

“We have 108,000km of sewers, and that’s a lot of pipe to keep clear. We spend £12 million a year tackling blockages, most of them formed because people have tipped cooking fats down the drain and wet wipes down the loo,” says Dave Dennis, Thames Water sewer operations manager.

“The sewers serve an important purpose – they are not an abyss for household rubbish. Fat goes down the drain easily enough, but when it hits the cold sewers, it hardens into disgusting ‘fatbergs’ that block pipes.”

Wet wipes love fat, and the two stick together as often as they can, snowballing into fatberg form, grabbing tennis balls and bits of wood, whatever it can subsume, and backing everything up.

It’s not just our neighbors across the pond who aren’t into the whole wet wipes + fat combo — city sewer workers in the United States are also trying to spread the word about what can and can’t go down the drain.

Fatberg strikes Shepherd’s Bush [Thames Water]

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