PICTURED: 'Festive fatbergs' wreak havoc in the sewers this Christmas

News Shopper: Inside a London sewer Inside a London sewer

IMAGINE tackling nine double-deckers’ worth of fat mixed with wet wipes in a 4ft drain. Reporter HELOISE WOOD gets a whiff of what it takes from Thames Water’s sewermen.

SECOND World War bullets, a live hand grenade and half a Mini Cooper car are just some of the delights which have been discovered in London’s sewers.

Now Thames Water is appealing to people to stop tipping dripping down the plughole as blockages rise by around 25 per cent during Christmas.

Deputy chief sewer flusher Danny Brackley reveals how London’s drains are literally bursting with the wrong things and it costs £12 million a year to repair.

'Fatbergs'

He says: "Festive fatbergs are the worst - a hideous concoction of turkey drippings, oil from your roast veg and fatty gravy.

"The biggest blockage I had to deal was nine double-decker buses worth of cooking fat and wet wipes underneath Leicester Square in 2010. We had to use pressure jetting to get rid of it.

"The smell is horrendous if you’re not used to it.

News Shopper: PICTURED: Fat-filled sewers cause havoc this Christmas

"When the fat congeals it takes the oxygen out of the atmosphere so we have to be really careful not to be poisened, it also gives out nitrogen and methane gas."

Mr Brackley, who is now starring in radio ads to prevent sewer abuse, believes our diet is partly to blame.

He explains: "It is getting worse since the 80s and the rise of fast food. We’re eating so much more it so grease is a problem.

"Fat and wet wipes can build up right outside your front door, building up until the sewer blocks and raw sewage is spilling out over the road or even worse, up through toilets into their home.

"To avoid this, you should wait for the cooking fat to cool, pour it into a container and put it in the bin'."

Bullets and a Mini Cooper

Mr Brackley continues to be amazed by the variety and scope of his job.

He says: "The best thing about the job is seeing the incredible architecture of the sewers, much of it dates back to the 1960s but the worst thing is the way people abuse them and put the wrong things down there.

"We regularly come across old coins or Second World War bullets and one of my colleagues once found a live hand-grenade.

"We also once found half of a Mini Cooper car - we still can’t work out how it got in there."

For more information, visit thameswater.co.uk/help-and-advice

News Shopper: PICTURED: 'Festive fatbergs' wreak havoc in the sewers this Christmas

SEWER HOTSPOTS

Bexley

November 27 - Thames Water workers removed a 15m-long blockage of fat and wet wipes from a pipe in Abbey Road after sewage seeped out into the road and made it difficult for residents to flush toilets

December 9 - Jetting equipment was used in Burns Avenue on to break up the blockage in a fat-filled sewer

Lewisham

November 5 - A Lewisham Road property was flooded after fat and wipes congealed together

Greenwich

December 10- Sewer rods were used to clear a blockage in Braddyll Street

Bromley

November 28 - St Mary’s Avenue was plagued with a lump of fat clogging the drains so jets were bought in

Comments (18)

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5:21pm Mon 16 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

Nothing compared to what the government mp's spew out.
Nothing compared to what the government mp's spew out. white rabbit9

6:39pm Mon 16 Dec 13

right-writes says...

Chris Patten's got more than that round his waist!
Chris Patten's got more than that round his waist! right-writes

6:47pm Mon 16 Dec 13

molsey says...

Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Wall would be right at home doing that job. molsey

7:41pm Mon 16 Dec 13

paulbexleyheath says...

thing most of the fat is from crayfords dirty dozen fried chicken shops
thing most of the fat is from crayfords dirty dozen fried chicken shops paulbexleyheath

11:52pm Mon 16 Dec 13

fatboy2000 says...

most of this is probably from Thamesmead!!!

Mmmmm should this guy have a mask/respirator on???

Answers on a H&S postcard please..............
.....
most of this is probably from Thamesmead!!! Mmmmm should this guy have a mask/respirator on??? Answers on a H&S postcard please.............. ..... fatboy2000

10:52am Tue 17 Dec 13

the wall says...

molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
[quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up. the wall

10:56am Tue 17 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

'ave another 'Big Breakfast' Karl. Git it dahn ya scrag boi.
'ave another 'Big Breakfast' Karl. Git it dahn ya scrag boi. Gypo.Joe

11:00am Tue 17 Dec 13

molsey says...

the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.
[quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up.[/p][/quote]I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive. molsey

11:35am Tue 17 Dec 13

the wall says...

molsey wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.
What utter ball locks!

Been on holiday, you should try one.
[quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up.[/p][/quote]I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.[/p][/quote]What utter ball locks! Been on holiday, you should try one. the wall

12:10pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Slonik says...

When I saw the headline 'festive fatbergs' something made me think of our glorious leaders at their lavish Christmas parties... :D
When I saw the headline 'festive fatbergs' something made me think of our glorious leaders at their lavish Christmas parties... :D Slonik

5:53pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.
What utter ball locks!

Been on holiday, you should try one.
How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ?

You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****.
[quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up.[/p][/quote]I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.[/p][/quote]What utter ball locks! Been on holiday, you should try one.[/p][/quote]How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ? You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****. Gypo.Joe

7:50pm Tue 17 Dec 13

molsey says...

the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.
What utter ball locks!

Been on holiday, you should try one.
Where ya bin, BERLIN sightseeing.
[quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up.[/p][/quote]I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.[/p][/quote]What utter ball locks! Been on holiday, you should try one.[/p][/quote]Where ya bin, BERLIN sightseeing. molsey

9:44am Wed 18 Dec 13

the wall says...

Gypo.Joe wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.
What utter ball locks!

Been on holiday, you should try one.
How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ?

You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****.
My mate sorted out Simon's old boiler, so as a favour got some holiday. Went to Finland (Lapland) helped out the big guy.
[quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up.[/p][/quote]I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.[/p][/quote]What utter ball locks! Been on holiday, you should try one.[/p][/quote]How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ? You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****.[/p][/quote]My mate sorted out Simon's old boiler, so as a favour got some holiday. Went to Finland (Lapland) helped out the big guy. the wall

12:13pm Wed 18 Dec 13

molsey says...

the wall wrote:
Gypo.Joe wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.
What utter ball locks!

Been on holiday, you should try one.
How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ?

You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****.
My mate sorted out Simon's old boiler, so as a favour got some holiday. Went to Finland (Lapland) helped out the big guy.
That's no way to talk about Simon's Missus and Mrs Claus said you were a dope and nicked the presents.
[quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up.[/p][/quote]I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.[/p][/quote]What utter ball locks! Been on holiday, you should try one.[/p][/quote]How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ? You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****.[/p][/quote]My mate sorted out Simon's old boiler, so as a favour got some holiday. Went to Finland (Lapland) helped out the big guy.[/p][/quote]That's no way to talk about Simon's Missus and Mrs Claus said you were a dope and nicked the presents. molsey

2:13pm Wed 18 Dec 13

the wall says...

molsey wrote:
the wall wrote:
Gypo.Joe wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
the wall wrote:
molsey wrote:
Wall would be right at home doing that job.
Grow up.
I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.
What utter ball locks!

Been on holiday, you should try one.
How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ?

You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****.
My mate sorted out Simon's old boiler, so as a favour got some holiday. Went to Finland (Lapland) helped out the big guy.
That's no way to talk about Simon's Missus and Mrs Claus said you were a dope and nicked the presents.
Yawn!
[quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: Wall would be right at home doing that job.[/p][/quote]Grow up.[/p][/quote]I knew that would draw you out if you were still alive.[/p][/quote]What utter ball locks! Been on holiday, you should try one.[/p][/quote]How come Simon lets you have 2 weeks off in the run up to Crimbo 'Wall" ? You musta earnt a few quids in bonus last month you slippery ****.[/p][/quote]My mate sorted out Simon's old boiler, so as a favour got some holiday. Went to Finland (Lapland) helped out the big guy.[/p][/quote]That's no way to talk about Simon's Missus and Mrs Claus said you were a dope and nicked the presents.[/p][/quote]Yawn! the wall

12:57pm Thu 19 Dec 13

CaptainJustice says...

Takeaway establishment are always emptying their fat & oil down the drains so stop trying to put it on to the Brits homeowners please !
Takeaway establishment are always emptying their fat & oil down the drains so stop trying to put it on to the Brits homeowners please ! CaptainJustice

11:39am Sat 21 Dec 13

rescoffering says...

...thought this headline was about my old pal brian darn da sarf coast!! rofl!! ...they'll be up with us over christmas and the new year!! ...we'll be supporting the local brewers in beckers - and having a massive russel harty in copers new years eve!! ...eat ya heart out sigh man!! rofl!! :)
...thought this headline was about my old pal brian darn da sarf coast!! rofl!! ...they'll be up with us over christmas and the new year!! ...we'll be supporting the local brewers in beckers - and having a massive russel harty in copers new years eve!! ...eat ya heart out sigh man!! rofl!! :) rescoffering

9:58am Mon 23 Dec 13

Brian Sewer66 says...

Nice to get on hear bruv an good 2 hear from you we up in london 4 a bit of friendship bruv ;)
Nice to get on hear bruv an good 2 hear from you we up in london 4 a bit of friendship bruv ;) Brian Sewer66

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