Giant fatberg the size of 25 elephants cleared from Liverpool sewer

The giant fatberg was blocking 250m of sewer. Credit: United Utilities

A giant "fatberg" the size of 25 elephants has finally been cleared from the sewers of Liverpool.

The 200 tonne mass - made up of congealed fat and other waste material like wet wipes - had been blocking a 250 metre stretch of the city's central sewer, causing flooding at businesses around Bankhall Lance.

A new fat-busting technique "that literally ate it away from the inside out" had to be designed to clear the blockage.

So, how do you get rid of a huge, solid ball of fat?

  • Engineers drilled a hole through the centre of the fatberg

  • They fed a steel rope line through the hole, turning it into a zip-wire

  • They ran a specially adapted jet machine along the rope, blasting the fatberg from the inside

The team - made up of United Utilities and Sapphire Utility Solutions - said this new method was "a success story", clearing the blockage in half the time it would have taken to replace the sewer system.