For this blog we look at the fatberg that set up home under the streets of Kingston. As you can no doubt imagine we were as shocked as the nation when we saw this on television and read about it in the paper!
The CCTV survey of the Kingston sewer first emerged back at the start of August and very quickly became on online and media talking point as the footage showed the extent of the 15 foot, bus sized lard ball.
The huge lump even has its own Twitter account now – @KingstonFatberg and was posting tweets such as “Squatters rights mate, you can’t touch me”!
It was reported in the news that workers had to spend 10 nights removing the mass which was clinging to the top of the sewer pipe using high pressure jet hoses. From experience and dealing with much smaller blockages in the past, it’s definitely NOT a nice job!
The congealed lard mass had been growing in drains beneath a road in Kingston, SW London before being discovered by a Thames Water CCTV Drain Survey which was carried out after local residents were complaining that they were unable to flush their toilets.
Due to the size of the fatberg, the sewer had been reduced right down to just 5% of its normal activity – had the sewer become completely blocked the effects of this could have been serious with raw waste / sewage flooding the streets – not nice.
The fatberg was made up of a mixture of food waste, fat and sanitary wipes, and this really does highlight just how important it is to not flush baby wipes, nappies, blue-roll tissue (like the tissue found in petrol stations next to the pumps) or any sanitary items as well as tipping oil and fat down the sink – whilst this may wash easily down your sink this does present a major problem when it cools down and solidifies – this will soon build up in your sewer or even the main sewer under your street and the result = fatberg.
So the moral in this story is quite simple – always bin sanitary waste such as baby and makeup wipes and nappies and dispose of used oil in the correct way.