Video: Beware the Fatberg … really
posted at 5:26 pm on August 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
And what exactly is a Fatberg? Thanks to The Week and this video of the sewer system in the southwest London neighborhood of Kingston, we all know now. It may not be as fascinating as Sharknado, but the stench is familiar. Please observe our very first Too Gross For Work warning before hitting play:
On Tuesday, utility officials announced the discovery of a 16.5-ton “fatberg” composed of congealed fat and wet wipes blocking the sewers underneath the Kingston neighborhood in southwest London.
“Given we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we’ve encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history,” Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor for Thames Water, said in a statement. “If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.”
The bus-sized fatberg got so big that it reduced the sewers to only 5 percent of their normal capacity, and damaged them so badly it will take Thames Water six weeks to repair them.
Don’t think for a moment that it can’t happen here, either — and in fact, it already is. People are a little too credulous about wet wipes’ claims of being flushable, when nothing should go down a toilet except waste and toilet paper. Add that to people dumping animal fat and cooking grease down their sinks instead of into their garbage, and it’s not long before the fatbergs form and sewer systems clog, with extremely unpleasant results.
But hey, I bet the fatbergs kill the alligators … and the feral pigs of London, too. Too bad fatbergs aren’t similarly fanciful.