London Avoids Flooding As Workers Don Hazmat Suits To Remove 10-Ton Fatberg

Yet another “fatberg,” this one weighing more than ten tons, was removed from an underground London sewer this week after it broke the city’s 1940’s era pipe system at a cost of $600,000.

A fatberg is made up of cooking oil, solidified fats, wet wipes, sanitary napkins, and household waste.

When people pour hot cooking oil down the drain, it solidifies into a fatty clump mess, which then clings to wet wipes and other waste dumped down the drain forming into so-called fatbergs.

Water company officials only realized the London fatberg existed after residents of the swanky upper class Chelsea neighborhood began to complain about the rancid smell coming a from nearby sewer.

Thames Water project manager Stephen Hunt told the London Evening Standard, area residents needed to take better care of what they flushed down the toilet to prevent another fatberg from forming.

“The amount of fat we’ve had to remove has been staggering. Chelsea has done itself proud here, we see blockages all the time on household sewer pipes, which are about big enough for a cricket ball to pass through, but to have this much damage on a sewer almost a metre in diameter is mind-boggling.”

The water company has said it will take almost two months to repair the damage done by the fatberg, as crews have been forced to dig through the earth with their hands to avoid damaging nearby pipes.

The company has already replaced 22 feet of piping, but still needs to replace another 17 feet to repair the damage caused by the fatberg.

London seems to have trouble with fatbergs.

Luckily, the city avoided the flooding that was threatened in August 2013 when a bus sized 15 ton fatberg again blocked London city sewers, this time in the Kingston area.

Repair crews working on that fatberg spent 10 nights spraying the congealed ball of mess with high-powered jet hoses. Water officials spotted that fatberg after area residents complained of being unable to flush their toilets.

In September, 2014 a Boeing 747-sized fatberg was discovered beneath London Shepherd’s Bush Road.

Repair crews working to remove that fatberg worked through the night for a week, according to the Inquisitr.

A Thames Water company spokesman told The Independent it has dealt with 200,000 fatberg blockages across Britain.

“Wet wipes are particularly nasty when people flush them down the toilets, not just in Chelsea but all across region. When all these things come together in our sewers, wet wipes stick to fat and anything that is flushed down toilets that shouldn’t be, like nappies and sanitary items.”

[Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]