Aw, bad day at your air-conditioned, somewhat clean desk? Try shifting a 40-tonne fatberg

With your hands


Workers at Thames Water have shifted a 40-tonne fatberg – slightly more than three double-decker buses – from a sewer in south London.

For the uninitiated, fatbergs are the glossy miracles that occur when fat, grease and oil meet wet wipes and nappies to congeal into an impenetrable lump of sewer-based deliciousness.

Thames Water said the 'berg was broken up using high-pressure water jets but many of the resulting globules had to be removed by hand. At some points the fatty orb was occupying 80 per cent of the sewer. If left, it would have continued to grow until the sewer was completely blocked.

Matt Rimmer (yes, really), 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.

"We'd urge everyone to help fight the fatberg by only flushing the 3Ps – pee, poo and paper – as well as disposing of fat and oils in the bin, not the sink."

Thames Water has visited local food establishments to ensure their fat traps are working properly.

To bring a little clarity to the scale of this effort, we turn to The Register's patent standards converter, licensed by Vulture Central's Standards Bureau, which calculates that 40 tonnes is the same weight as 44.9 Great White Sharks or 9.5 KiloJubs.

Lest we forget, in 2017 Thames Water removed a 130-tonne fatberg from a sewer in Whitechapel, which was 250m in length, twice as long as Wembley stadium football pitch, 1,785 strings of linguine or 27.1 double-decker buses in old money.

This still puts London ahead of the plucky Devon fatberg from Sidmouth, which measured a mere 210 feet, or 2.91 brontosauruses (2.91 apatosauruses in metric). ®


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