What’s hiding in London’s sewers? 1,000 tons of fat and waste removed

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Next time you’re tempted to pour leftover cooking oil down the sink, think again. A team of British sewer flushers is up against what they describe as “solid wall of fat” under London’s Leicester square, the result of years of careless flushing by the city’s inhabitants.

Thames Water, the company responsible for London sewers, estimates that over 1,000 tonnes of fat and waste are being removed from under Leicester Square, “enough to fill nine London Double Decker buses”. According to the company, the build-up, which they nickname “fatbergs,” is the result of accumulated “sewer abuse”: when anything other than water, human waste or toilet paper is put down drains. The company has launched a new campaign, “Bin it, don’t Block it,” to highlight the scale of the problem.

If you’ve ever had cooking fat solidify in your kitchen sink, you’ll know how hard the stuff is to get rid of. Imagine the muck multiplied by several thousands, and you’ll get an idea of how colossal – and stomach-turning – the cleanup mission is. Chief flusher Danny Brackley told us more about how his team gets rid of London’s leftover fat – and how people can help “unclog the city’s arteries.”


Full story: Tonnes of fat dug out from London’s sewers | The Observers