What is a Fatberg

A yellowish-white crater landscape, peppered with some greasy stalactites hanging from the ceiling: the canal workers of the water utility Thames Water are certainly used to a lot in the London underworld. But the 15-ton lump of fat that clogged the sewer system in Kingston must have been an impressive sight for them on their inspection tour of the sewer system.

It is true that larger accumulations of fat have to be removed from the sewer system again and again, but a single lump of this size has never been seen, the company said, almost fearfully. Probably the largest mountain in British history, according to a spokesman.

But now the subterranean something that Londoners now affectionately call "fatberg" is gone: painstakingly chopped up into transportable lumps and sucked out of the gully. The word liposuction takes on a whole new and much more original meaning here. The workers were on duty day and night, and yet they were busy for three weeks. The repairs to the sewer pipes damaged by the lump will continue for another six weeks.

Fatberg is recycled

The lump the size of a double-decker bus, an unsavory conglomerate of leftover food, paper and grease, had settled on the walls of the sewage system - because the residents were probably too happy to dispose of oil and leftover food in the toilet.

It wasn't found until the Kingstoners complained that their toilets were no longer working. Apparently just in time, because quite apart from the threatening stench, a clogged sewer could also have let untreated sewage escape on the surface. The result would have been streets and houses flooded with a foul-smelling and highly germ-contaminated liquid.

The future prospects of the Londoners are likely to be similarly unsavory for Londoners fatberg be. Because the waste company that took over the lump now wants to recycle it and put it to a sensible, albeit somewhat paradoxical, use. When the water has been extracted from the mass, the fats should be processed into biodiesel, fuel and, yes, soap.