A WHOLE NINE WEEKS ago, Thames Water found a gigantic “fatberg” blocking the sewers of Whitechapel. These blockages of non-degrading items, such as nappies and wipes, which catch fat washed down the sink, are common – but this one was a whoppa.
Now it’s gone – all 130 tonnes of it, and the sewers are running clear once more. It took a team of eight operatives over two months to break the berg down and mend the damage it had caused to the ageing sewer system. The most stubborn parts had to be attacked with spades.
It was a horrible job for the workers – who must be hoping they will be among the first workers to be replaced by robots!
Until the robots come on the scene, however, Thames Water says:
Don’t put cooking fat, oil or grease down the plughole or the toilet. Wrap solids in newspaper or put them in plastic bags and put them in the bin. Cool liquid fat and pour it into metal or glass jars before sealing the container and putting it in the bin.
Thames Water is running a “Bin it – don’t block it” campaign, to remind residents that the only things that should be flushed down the toilet are, ahem, “bodily products” and toilet paper.
Andy Brierley, Director of Lanes Utilities, Thames Water’s wastewater network services maintenance partner, said, “Nailing this fatberg was like battling a giant Harry Potter movie creature beneath the streets of London. Around each sewer corner we discovered a new fatberg challenge. We’re immensely proud of the team effort made to get the job done. We’re hoping the people of London will now help by always putting fats, oils, and wipes in the bin, not down the drain.”
Thames Water spends around £1 million a month clearing blockages from its 68,000 mile sewer network. Let’s save ourselves some money and bin it, not block it.