Birmingham: city sewer blocked by ‘monster’ 300-tonne fatberg

Engineers have been called in to clear the enormous fatberg (Severn Trent)Engineers have been called in to clear the enormous fatberg (Severn Trent)
Engineers have been called in to clear the enormous fatberg (Severn Trent)
The fatberg may not be removed until June

A “monster” fatberg thought to weigh some 300 tonnes is blocking a sewer beneath Birmingham.

Water services company Severn Trent said in a statement its staff were working around the clock to clear the blockage, which it referred to as “giant” and a “monster”, located approximately four miles east of the city centre in Hodge Hill.

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Despite these efforts, the firm said the fatberg is not expected to be cleared until June.

What is a fatberg?

Fatbergs are formed when oil, grease and fat poured down drains combine with non-biodegradable items such as wet wipes, nappies and cotton buds.

Severn Trent operations manager Scott Burgin said: ““Our advice is to always leave leftover cooking fat to cool, before disposing of it in the bin and to stick to only flushing the three P’s (pee, poo and toilet paper) and bin anything else.

“These relatively small changes can make a big difference and hopefully avoid any future fatbergs.”

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The company said that in the last year it has been called out to thousands of blockages across the region, of which three quarters were caused by people misusing the sewer system.

Severn Trent was alerted to the fatberg by sewer sensors which monitor for rising water levels. If an alert is triggered, a team of engineers respond to investigate and clear any blockages forming before customers are impacted.

Mr Burgin added: “We’d like to apologise to any customers who might be affected by our work and thank the community for their patience and understanding.

“We’re working as quickly as we can to resolve this problem and get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.”

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