Fatberg Crisis – The top 5 Fatbergs in London
London is a world leader in finance, in engineering, in IT and, unfortunately, in Fatbergs.
However unfortunate this may be, it is not particularly surprising, with The Guardian reporting that 90% of restaurants do not have the correct grease management systems in place. A shocking figure for such an innovative, environmentally aware city! Perhaps the issue lies in the fact that we cannot see the culprit, once it has been flushed down the drain, we feel it is gone. Out of sight, out of mind.
Following Channel 4’s revealing documentary, “Fatberg Autopsy – Secrets of the Sewers” which aired last night, we hope to see a rise in the number of restaurants contacting us for a grease survey. This is a FREE service that involves one of our team having a quick look around and analysing the potential impact that FOG (Fat, Oils and Grease) is having on a restaurants’ surrounding environment.
If the trend doesn’t change, the issue will only get worse. This means more blockages, sewer floods and more fines from the water companies. So, continue reading for the top five fatbergs on record, all in London, and you’ll understand why we can’t let this continue.
5.Chelsea, 2015 – 40m long – 10 Tonnes
As usual, mainly consisting of wet wipes and solidified fat. This Fatberg was so heavy that it collapsed the sewer in West London and cost Thames Water in the region of £400,000 to repair, taking them two very long months.
4.Kingston Upon Thames, 2013 – Estimated 30m long – 15 Tonnes
This huge fatberg weighs in at 5 tonnes more than its Chelsea counterpart. That might not sound like a lot, but the difference alone equates to the weight of nearly three cars and reports said it was the size of a double-decker bus! The team that cleared is spoke of an unimaginable foul odour and the berg was illegibly steaming.
3.China Town, 2017 – 50m long – 26 Tonnes
Weighs more than TWO double-decker buses. Found beneath a street lined with restaurants. Had to be removed at evenings and weekends as the area was to busy in weekdays, whilst restaurant owners were reminded of their legal and moral responsibility to have the correct systems in place.
2.Shepherd’s Bush, 2014 – 80m long – estimated 38 Tonnes
Back to West London, this Fatberg found under Shepherd’s Bush road was stated to be the length of a jumbo jet! The clean up process took a speedy four days, impressive. Within the congealed mess planks of wood, tennis balls and food were also found. As usual, plenty of wet wipes and cooking fat. Thames Water reminded residents after this that the sewers are not “an abyss for household rubbish”.
1.Whitechapel, 2017 – 250m long – 130 Tonnes
The Whitechapel Fatberg! Considerably bigger and more famous than its counterparts. In fact, over three times the size of its closest rival. Has its own exhibition at the Museum of London and the last part cleared from the sewers is on show at the exhibition. Thames Water claimed it smelt like “rotting meat mixed with the odour of a smelly toilet”. The Fatberg took nine weeks to clear – which considering its size is amazing.
Last night’s documentary saw a team from Thames Water battling a Fatberg underneath The Southbank that could be up to 750m. If confirmed, this would be the biggest Fatberg ever found!
As a city, London has a staggering 59,000 miles of sewers. With an estimated 32-44 million litres of cooking oil used in the city every year. The cost of cleaning the Fatberg issue up currently costs London £12 million per a year (£1 million a month) and if we don’t want to see this figure rise, all food service establishments must start to take responsibility!
For our full range of grease management and Fatberg fighting products – click here
Fatberg Autopsy – Secrets of the Sewers will be available on demand in the coming days. In the meantime, see the clip below for the full, disgusting introduction to Fatbergs.