15-ton ‘fatberg’ clogs London sewer system

Posted at 11:40 AM, Aug 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-06 12:43:57-04

Sewer workers have removed a record 15-ton ‘fatberg’ that clogged the London sewer system and threatened to send raw sewage spilling onto city streets.

The mass, which was about the size of a double-decker bus, was composed of solidified cooking fat dumped down drains that mixed with flushed wet wipes, according to NBC News.

Workers spent ten nights working to remove the mess.

An eight-member team used shovels and jets of water to dislodge the pulpy aggregation of cooking fat and flushed wet wipes, uncovered after Kingston, Surrey residents complained about unflushable toilets. Together, the wipes and grease formed “a congealed wet mash” the size of a bus that smelled like “the worst wet dog you can ever think of.”

Thames Water spends about $1.5 million (£1 million) every month on removing odd objects from about 108,000 kilometers of underground ducts. But this “fatberg,” nurtured by the delicate preferences of the wet wipers of Kingston, Surrey, was a record-breaker.

“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,” Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor for Thames Water said in a release.

(No word if this is connected to the world’s first lab-grown stem-cell burger that was cooked in the city on Monday.)

Read more at NBC News.