‘Monster’ fatbergs cleared from London sewers

Two “monster” fatbergs weighing almost 100 tonnes and threatening to flood homes and businesses over Christmas have been cleared from sewers in central London.

Thames Water said a huge fatberg weighing 63 tonnes – several tonnes of which was concrete – was cleared from a Pall Mall sewer after being broken up by engineers with power tools and then their hands.

Another weighing 30 tonnes and stretching 70 metres was removed from the sewers of Cathedral Street, near the Shard.

The two fatbergs were threatening to flood homes and businesses with wastewater over the festive period, the water supplier said.

Fatbergs are formed when fat, oil and grease are poured down sinks and drains and combine with items that should not be flushed down the toilet, such as unflushable wet wipes, nappies and cotton buds.

Thames Water asked people not to “feed the fatberg” over Christmas, saying the two discoveries served as a timely reminder about the importance of properly disposing of cooking fat.

Stephen Pattenden, Thames Water network manager, said: “Fatbergs are like monsters from the deep, lurking and growing under our feet, and the team worked around the clock to defeat these two before they could cause damage to our customers or the environment.

“We’ve all seen the problems and damage they cause, and I’d therefore ask everyone to please make sure they don’t pour fats and oils down the sink.

The fatberg in Greenwich, which was removed in October (Thames Water handout/PA Wire)
A fatberg in Greenwich which was removed in October (Thames Water/PA)

“By letting the fat cool, putting it in a proper container like a glass jar and then in the bin stops a fatberg growing into a monster.”

The two fatbergs come just months after Thames Water had to remove a 100-metre “Concreteberg” from underneath Islington, while a 40-tonne fatberg the size of a double-decker bus was cleared from a Greenwich sewer in November.

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