Mind the fat: huge blob of it found in UK sewer
by Danica Kirka, Associated Press
August 06, 2013 11:15 AM | 437 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this undated image released by Thames Water company, showing part of a 15-ton lump of fat and other debris coagulated inside a main London city sewer, which they have spent many days clearing from the drain, it is announced Tuesday Aug, 6, 2013. Utility company Thames Water says it has cleared what it calls the biggest "fatberg" ever recorded in Britain, a 15-ton blob of congealed fat and baby wipes the size of a bus, which was lodged inside a London sewer drain. (AP Photo/Thames Water)
In this undated image released by Thames Water company, showing part of a 15-ton lump of fat and other debris coagulated inside a main London city sewer, which they have spent many days clearing from the drain, it is announced Tuesday Aug, 6, 2013. Utility company Thames Water says it has cleared what it calls the biggest "fatberg" ever recorded in Britain, a 15-ton blob of congealed fat and baby wipes the size of a bus, which was lodged inside a London sewer drain. (AP Photo/Thames Water)
slideshow
LONDON (AP) — It may look like an iceberg, but there's nothing cool about it.

Utility company Thames Water says it has discovered what it calls the biggest "fatberg" ever recorded in Britain — a 15-ton blob of congealed fat and baby wipes lodged in a sewer drain.

That's enough "wrongly flushed festering food fat mixed with wet wipes" to fill a double-decker bus such as the famous London Routemaster, the company said.

Thames Water deals with fatbergs all the time, thanks to the widespread use of household oil and food fat. But few reach the mammoth size of the one found under a road in the London suburb of Kingston.

But with 108,000 kilometers (67,000 miles) of sewer pipes to monitor, and fatbergs forming around even a few wipes that catch on to a corner or a wall, Thames Water says it must be constantly vigilant.

This blockage — built up over an estimated six months — was discovered after residents in nearby apartment buildings were unable to flush their toilets.

Examination found that the mound of fat had reduced the 70-centimeter (28-inch) by 48-centimeter (19-inch) sewer to just 5 percent of its normal capacity. It damaged the sewers so badly that it will take six weeks to repair them.

The company said Tuesday it was sharing news of the massive lard lump in hopes that customers will think twice about what they dump down the drain. It also released video footage of the fatberg, filmed by a remote vehicle gliding through the sewer like an underground amusement park ride.

The company says untreated fatbergs cause flooding and backups.

"It's very lucky we caught this one," said Craig Rance, a spokesman for Thames Water.

Mind the fat.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides