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66-foot-long 'fatberg' found in London sewer

Thames Water says the mass was mostly food from nearby restaurants and bars.

By Ben Hooper

LONDON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Sewer cleaners in London said they cleared a "fatberg" composed of items including food, sanitary products and condoms.

Thames Water officials said the fatberg beneath Whitehall measured 66 feet long and blocked the more than 6-foot-wide pipe.

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The blockage was mostly made up of food from restaurants and bars, but items discovered in the congealed mess also included nail polish containers, wet wipes, condoms, sanitary products and pieces of wood.

"A fatberg is when people put fat and oil down the sink. It all congeals into these big huge rocks like this that block up all the sewage system. It's like concrete," Dave Dennis of Thames Water told ITV News. "Sewers are used these days literally like rubbish ground. Not just fat it's everyday rubbish toiletry items, waste items, I mean we've got a plank of wood here that's never going to go down a main sewer."

Thames Water workers used suction equipment and water jets to break down and clear the fatberg.

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The discovery comes about two months after a fatberg described as being the size of a Boeing 747 was cleared from the sewer system beneath London.

Dennis said the city spends nearly $20 million each year to clear fatbergs and other blockages from the sewers.

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