Giant fatberg discovered in Hodge Hill Birmingham

The giant fatberg is clogging a sewer in Hodge Hill, Birmingham Credit: Savern Trent

Teams from Severn Trent are working hard to try and clear a giant fatberg clogging a sewer in Hodge Hill, Birmingham.

The fatberg is estimated to be one metre high and over one thousand metres long.

Severn Trent says it's believed to be one of the biggest blockages it's ever dealt with, weighing around 300 tonnes - equivalent to 250 family cars.

Scott Burgin, operations manager at Severn Trent, said "this giant mass is the result of everyone occasionally washing and flushing the wrong things down the drains, and not realising the impact that it’s having."

The problem is that unlike toilet paper, wipes and other unflushables including nappies and sanitary products don’t break up or dissolve, so they easily get stuck in drains and sewers and then attach onto cooking oil and grease to create a fatberg.

Scott Burgin, operations manager at Severn Trent

Severn Trent says it's one of the biggest blockages it has ever had. Credit: Severn Trent

Severn Trent have issued the following advice to reduce the cause of fatbergs in the future:

  • Leave leftover cooking fat to cool, before disposing of it in the bin.

  • Stick to flushing the three P's (pee, poo and toilet paper) and bin anything else.

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

Sarah-Jane O'Kane from Severn Trent explains how fatbergs are formed underground.

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.

Scott Burgin, operations manager at Severn Trent

The fatberg is being tackled by teams around the clock but is expected to take until June to clear. 

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