Sixty-four-metre long fatberg found in sewer under seaside town

Six double-decker buses long fatberg found in sewer under seaside town

Huge fatberg found under seaside town Sidmouth in Devon. Image: Matthew Newby/SWNS

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A huge fatberg that is longer than six double-decker buses has been found in a sewer under a town in Devon.

The 64-metre mass of hardened fat, oil and wet-wipes was found under the seaside town of Sidmouth.

It was found near a children’s playground and waste workers have warned that the fatberg could take up to eight weeks to be cleared.

Andrew Roantree, South West Water’s director of wastewater, said: “It shows how this key environmental issue is not just facing the UK’s cities, but right here in our coastal towns.

“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."


'Don't feed the fatberg' 

The fatberg has been formed from wet-wipes, grease and fat.  Image: Matthew Newby/SWNS

Fatbergs form as wet-wipes flushed down toilets, fat and grease combine together, gradually forming a hard mass.

Mr Roantree warned people not to pour fats down the drain, saying that the consequences could be “significant”.  

"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,” he said.

"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 removal is due to start on Monday February 4, but heavy rain could cause delays.

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.