Fatty Food Isn’t Only Bad for Human Arteries…

…but also city arteries. REcently, I finished P.D. Smith’s City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age, and I ultimately managed to dig up this delightful story about what was clogging part of the London sewer system (boldface mine):

A team of “flushers” equipped with full breathing apparatus has been drafted in with shovels to dig out an estimated 1,000 tonnes of putrid fat from an area under Leicester Square…

The build-up of fat and grease underground is the result of years of “sewer abuse” – when anything other than water, human waste and toilet paper is put down drains – according to Thames Water.

Danny Brackley, the water company’s sewer flusher, said: “We’re used to getting our hands dirty, but nothing on this scale.

“We couldn’t even access the sewer as it was blocked by a four-foot wall of solid fat.”

This apparently is equivalent to the volume of nine double-decker buses.

Of course I have a picture:

(from here; PA)


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4 Responses to Fatty Food Isn’t Only Bad for Human Arteries…

  1. Jim Thomerson says:

    This is a common situation, at a less epic level, of course. It seems that there are no bacteria or fungi who work to break down fatty deposits in sewer systems. If so, this is rather surprising.

  2. george.w says:

    Ugh. If anyone makes remote-control mining equipment, this is the time to use it.

  3. human says:

    That person in the photo does not appear to have any breathing apparatus at all.

  4. Frank Carpenter says:

    And this is why restaurants must have grease traps. Even if it does interfere with their freedom.

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