What Exactly is a ‘Fatberg’? and What is it Doing in this English Seaside Resort in Devon

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‘Don’t feed the fatberg,’ local water authority is urging, after oily block the size of six double-decker buses was found in sewer in scenic Sidmouth

A block of hardened fat, oil and wet-wipes longer than six double-decker buses has been discovered in a sewer metres from the sea in a popular Devon resort town.

It will take workers eight weeks to cut up and remove the 64-metre “fatberg” from the sewer beneath The Esplanade in Sidmouth.

South West Water is also planning to open a pop-up shop in the town to tell people about the unwanted visitor and urge them not to “feed” fatbergs by pouring fat, oil, grease and wet-pipes into the system.

“It shows how this key environmental issue is not just facing the UK’s cities, but right here in our coastal towns,” said Andrew Roantree, the company’s director of waste water. “It is the largest discovered in our service history and it will take our sewer team around eight weeks to dissect this monster in exceptionally challenging work conditions.”

He insisted it would not be a threat to bathers when the weather warms up: “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. Put your pipes on a diet and don’t feed the fatberg.”

What is Exactly is a ‘Fatberg’? and What is Doing in this English Seaside Resort in Devon

South West Water said a fatberg forms like a snowball – wet-wipes flushed down toilets congeal with fats, oil and grease, gradually forming a hard mass. The removal, which will be carried out by workers in full breathing apparatus, is due to begin next month but could be delayed if there is heavy rain.

Nearby businesses will not be affected by the removal and The Esplanade will still be accessible.

The fatberg was discovered during a routine check.



Source: South China Morning Post