10 t fatberg required sewer replacement

The problems that can be caused by cooking oils, fats and disposable wipes being put down sewers led to Thames Water calling in Lanes Utilities to remove a 10 t ‘fatberg’ from a sewer under streets in west London. The 50 m-long fatberg was so heavy that it weakened the sewer to the point that it began to collapse when Lanes engineers tried to remove it.

The 70-year-old sewer was damaged beyond repair and had to be replaced. Andy Brierley Lanes Utilities director, said, ‘This is an example of just what a scourge of sewer systems fatbergs are.’

The only option was to remove the affected section of the egg-shaped sewer, which is 1100 mm high and 750 mm wide, with the fat still in it.

The work took several weeks and included traffic management and diverting sewage through over-pumping.

Thames Water runs a ‘Bin it — don’t block it’ campaign which is aimed at reducing the number of fatberg and drain blockages across its service area, which takes in London, Thames Valley and parts of south west England.

London’s largest-ever fatberg, 15 t, was found in Kingston in August 2013.

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