Britain's biggest 'fatberg' removed from London sewer

  • Published
Media caption,

Video footage shows the 'fatberg' inside the sewer, as Gordon Hailwood from Thames Water explains

Britain's biggest ever 'fatberg' has been removed from a London sewer.

Thames Water say a "bus-sized lump" of food fat mixed with wet wipes formed in drains under London Road in Kingston upon Thames.

The blockage was discovered after residents in nearby flats complained they couldn't flush their toilets.

Thames Water believe if it wasn't removed it could have led to sewage flooding homes, streets and businesses.

Media caption,

Rob Smith: "It's everything that goes into the sewer and lots of things that shouldn't"

Gordon Hailwood, Waste Contracts supervisor for Thames Water said: "Given we've got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest 'fatberg' we've encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest in British history.

"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."

Image source, County Clean

He added: "The sewer was almost completely clogged with over 15 tonnes of fat. If we hadn't discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.

"It was so big it damaged the sewer and repairs will take up to six weeks."

CCTV investigations in London Road found the mound of fat had reduced the sewer to just five per cent of its normal capacity.

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