Museum of London bids to exhibit 'biggest ever' 130-tonne fatberg discovered in Whitechapel sewer

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The Museum of London has put in a bid to exhibit part of a “monster” fatberg discovered in an east London sewer.

The 130 tonnes mass of wet wipes, nappies, fat and oil weighs the same as 11 double decker buses.

Thames Water engineers said the 250 metre-long mass took three weeks to remove berg from a stretch of Victorian sewer running under Whitechapel.

Now, the Museum of London has revealed hopes to acquire a cross-section of the rock solid mass.

The museum’s director Sharon Ament said part of the berg could become “one of the most extraordinary objects” in any museum in the capital.

A workman in protective clothing prepares to go into the sewer to chip away at the enormous fatberg

She added that it would “highlight the issues London has to deal with as it evolves”.

Ms Ament said: “It is important for the Museum of London to display genuine curiosities from past and present London. 

“If we are able to acquire the fatberg for our collection I hope it would raise questions about how we live today and also inspire our visitors to consider solutions to the problems of growing metropolises.”

Work to remove the fatberg under Whitechapel Road started this week and involves an eight-man crew using jet hoses to break it up before sucking it out into tankers, which take it away to a recycling site in Stratford.

130-tonne ‘fatberg‘ blocks sewer under London street

They are removing about 20 to 30 tonnes per shift, working nine hours a day, seven days a week.

The fatberg is more than 10 times bigger than the one in Kingston in 2013 which made national headlines. 

The company said it spends about £1 million a month clearing blockages from its sewers.

Head of waste networks Matt Rimmer urged people to think about what they flush down toilets: “The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish.”


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