'Fatberg' weighing the same as 500000 tubs of lard blocking London sewer

Thames Water's head of waste networks Matt Rimmer said'This fatberg is up there with the biggest we've ever seen

Thames Water's head of waste networks Matt Rimmer said'This fatberg is up there with the biggest we've ever seen

A 250 metre "monster" mass of fat, wet wipes, nappies and oil is being removed from a Victorian sewer in east London.

In a sewer region located about 11 feet (4 meters) under the Whitechapel neighborhood in London, workers are just beginning to dismantle an inanimate but uniquely revolting inhabitant - a vast and rock-solid plug of oily waste charmingly known as a "fatberg".

"It's basically like trying to break up concrete", Matt Rimmer, Thames Water's head of waste networks, told the BBC.

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British engineers say they have launched a "sewer war" against a giant fat blob clogging London's sewers.

The Thames statement said an eight-person crew is working seven-days a week to clear the blockage, greasy chunk by chunk.

Of course, this isn't the first fatberg found in London.

"It's one of the largest we've ever seen".

Work started this week, with an eight-man crew using high-powered jet hoses to break up the fatberg before sucking it out with tankers.

Rimmer compared removing it to breaking up concrete.

"They cause big problems with flooding, as the waste outlet gets blocked". Parking bays have had to be cordon off while engineers get access to the sewer beneath the surface.

Remote inspections using CCTV cameras showed that sewer passages were blocked by the fatberg, according to a statement released by Thames Water, the agency directing the cleanup effort.

Thames Water clears up an average of three fat related blockages and five blockages caused by items including wet wipes every hour from its sewers in London and the Thames Valley.

"It's frustrating as these situations are totally avoidable and caused by fat, oil and grease being washed down sinks and wipes flushed down the loo", he said. "The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish" Rimmer said.

It costs the company around £1 million ($1.3 million, 1.1 million euros) a month to do so.

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