Britain’s biggest ever ‘fatberg’ removed from a London sewer

The UK

The UK's biggest 'fatberg' was discovered under a street in Kingston. Picture: County Clean.

Archant

A bus-sized lump of wrongly-flushed festering food fat mixed with wet wipes was removed from a sewer in south London.

The ‘fatberg’ had formed in drains under London Road in Kingston, and if it had not been discovered Thames Water say it could have caused sewage to flood homes, streets and businesses in the leafy suburb.

Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor for the utilities firm, said: “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.

“Given we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we’ve encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such ‘berg’ in British history.

“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.”

He said the blockage was so big it damaged the sewer, and repairs will take up to six weeks to complete.

Mr Hailwood said homes and businesses need to change their ways, and when it comes to fat and wipes people need to ‘bin it, not block it’.

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

Thames Water said CCTV investigations under London Road found the mound of fat had reduced the 70x48cm sewer to just five per cent of its normal capacity.

It will begin repairs to 20 metres of damaged pipe on Monday, August 5, with two lanes of London Road closed westbound.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

More Quirky London

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Eugenie Bouchard (Picture: PA Images)

BBC Tennis tweeted that Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard was given a dress code penalty at Wimbledon this afternoon for having her bra strap showing, but Wimbledon officials told London24 this was not the case.

Monday, June 29, 2015
Make mine an Earl Grey (Photo: Brew)

There’s nothing Londoners love more than having a nice cuppa, and going to the pub. But until now, these two things have normally been separate.

Friday, June 26, 2015
Metropolitan Police Commissoner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

A drink driver has written an incredible letter to police praising the officer who arrested him and helped turn his life around.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
(Picture: Supper Tub)

It was inevitable, really, after the hot tub cinema and an endless cycle of pop-up theme restaurants, that someone would try to combine the two - and now Supper Tub is here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Batman Cape and Cowl exhibition (Picture: Tom Dymond)

Just in time for the launch of massive new video game Batman: Arkham Knight, celebrities and artists have designed life-size versions of the hero’s costume to go on show in Shoreditch.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Colourful condoms (Picture: Getty)

Three Ilford teens just won the TeenTech Awards with their idea for an STI-detecting condom that turns different neon shades for herpes, chlamydia and syphilis.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more