'Monster’ fatberg longer than six double-decker buses found in Devon sewer08 January 2019

Image Credit: South West Water

A 64-metre fatberg that is longer than six double-decker buses and made up of hardened fat, oil and wet-wipes has been discovered in a Sidmouth sewer in Devon.

South West Water says that the fatberg is the biggest ever discovered in Devon or Cornwall and is thought to be one of the largest found so close to the sea.

A fatberg forms like a snowball – as wet-wipes get flushed down loos, fats oil and grease congeal together, gradually forming a hard mass.

Waste water director Andrew Roantree says: “It is the largest discovered in our service history and will take our sewer team around eight weeks to dissect this monster in exceptionally challenging work conditions. Thankfully it has been identified in good time with no risk to bathing waters.

“If you keep just one new year’s resolution this year, let it be to not pour fats, oil or grease down the drain, or flush wet-wipes down the loo. The consequences can be significant – including sewer flooding in your own home.Put your pipes on a diet and don’t feed the fatberg.”

The fatberg removal is due to start on 4 February. Sewer workers will require full breathing apparatus to carry out the removal, which will involve a combination of manual labour and special sewer jetting equipment. A 360 degree view of the fatberg can be found on the South West Water Facebook page by clicking here.

In spring 2018, the Museum of London displayed chunks of a massive 250m-long, 130-tonne Whitechapel fatberg, which Thames Water had removed from the sewer at a cost of around £1 million.

Adam Offord

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