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  1. ITV Report

Work begins to remove 'monster' fatberg found in Devon

The fatberg is the largest ever found in south-west England. Credit: South West Water

Workers have begun the unenviable task of destroying the largest fatberg ever found in the southwest of England. The fatberg was initially discovered lurking in Sidmouth's sewers at the end of 2018.

The team are using pickaxes and shovels to break up the 64-metre-long blockage under the streets of Sidmouth in Devon.

Fatbergs are caused by fat, oil and grease combining with wet wipes and other items that shouldn't be flushed.

The fatberg in the sewer beneath Sidmouth in Devon. Credit: South West Water/PA

Heavy rain meant workers have had to take a temporary pause on Wednesday, it's expected they'll get back to their task later in the week.

South West Water, the company responsible for breaking up the greasy plug, anticipate it will take around eight weeks to remove.

The company's director of wastewater, Andrew Roantree, called the fatberg a "monster," and said teams face "exceptionally challenging work conditions.”

In 2015, workers had to remove a 250-metre-long fatberg which had accumulated under the streets of Whitechapel in east London. A section of the blockage later went on display at the Museum of London.

A chunk of the fatberg has already been removed by teams working deep below Sidmouth's streets. Credit: South West Water / Twitter