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Bin it, don’t block it: Fatbergs cause 2,000 sewer blockages in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 November 2018

To highlight this issue, Thames Water commissioned an artist to create a 3D artwork lifting the lid on London’s sewers. Picture: THAMES WATER

To highlight this issue, Thames Water commissioned an artist to create a 3D artwork lifting the lid on London’s sewers. Picture: THAMES WATER

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Fatbergs have caused almost 2,000 sewer blockages this year.

Thames Water spends £18 million a year clearing 75,000 blockages from the sewer network. Picture: THAMES WATERThames Water spends £18 million a year clearing 75,000 blockages from the sewer network. Picture: THAMES WATER

Thames Water figures from July 2017 to August 2018 show that build ups of waste poured down plugholes or flushed down loos caused 1,925 pongy problems in Barking and Dagenham.

There were 1,804 sewer jams the year before and 1,816 in 2015-16.

Thames Water’s Henry Badman said: “It may seem easier to pour oil down the sink or flush wet wipes down the loo.

“However, this can lead to expensive blockages and can have a devastating environmental impact.”

The firm spends £18million annually clearing 75,000 blockages with 87 per cent caused by fatbergs.

Last year the largest ever fatberg - weighing the same as 11 double decker buses – was removed from east London.

Fatbergs are caused when wet wipes, nappies and sanitary products enter sewers, mix with cooking oils and harden into solid lumps.

Households have been asked to bin products and not block sewers.

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