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Monster fatberg found in English seaside resort

08 January 2019

A 64-metre long fatberg has been found blocking a sewer in a popular Devon resort town.

The block of hardened fat, wet wipes and oil will take workers eight weeks to cut up and remove from the sewer beneath The Esplanade in Sidmouth.

South West Water (SWW) said the fatberg, which is the length of six double-decker buses, was the biggest it had found.

SWW is also planning to open a pop-up shop in the town to inform people about the unwanted visitor and to urge them not to “feed” fatbergs by pouring fat, oil, grease and wet-wipes into the system.

The firm's director of wastewater Andrew Roantree said he was thankful it was discovered "in good time" with "no risk" to the quality of sea bathing waters.

He added that the discovery of the fatberg "shows how this key environmental issue is not just facing the UK’s cities, but right here in our coastal towns". 

The chances of people's loos backing up as a result were "very unlikely", SWW said, because the fatberg, found in a large sewer near the seafront, was far from homes.

Fatbergs form when people put things such as fat, wet wipes, sanitary towels, nappies and condoms, down sinks and toilets.

The removal, which will be carried out by workers in full breathing apparatus, is due to start on 4 February.