Huge 40-tonne ‘fatberg’ removed from underground sewer in Greenwich

A huge 40-tonne fatberg blocking a sewer has been cleared by engineers – some even pulling out the monster blockage with their hands.

The mass, which weighed the same as three London 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 per cent 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.”

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