News
08 Jan 19
Monster fatberg discovered in Devon coastal town
Sidmouth Fatberg

Monster fatberg discovered in Devon coastal town

A 210ft (64m) ‘monster fatberg’ has been discovered blocking a sewer in the seaside town of Sidmouth, Devon.

The fatberg, the biggest ever discovered by South West Water, is made up of congealed fat, grease and wet wipes and will take up to 8 weeks to be removed safely.

Andrew Roantree, Director of Wastewater at South West explained that at present the fatberg does not represent a health risk to the public, but that “it could and would if it was allowed to continue to develop and grow”.

Discussing the removal process, Andrew explained that it would be a fairly manual task taking around 8 weeks.  “It involves getting people into the sewer with breathing apparatus on in order to help to dig this enormous lump of congealed fat out of our sewerage network” Andrew added.

While the Sidmouth fatberg is a monster,  it is not the biggest to be discovered in the UK.  That ‘honour’ goes to the 250m long Whitechapel fatberg found by Thames Water in 2017.

Once removed, a portion of the Whitechapel fatberg was displayed in the Museum of London and was credited with increasing visitor numbers as people flocked to see it.

Monitoring flow and level is an effective way of ensuring blockages are quickly acknowledged and can be dealt with before they develop into extreme cases such as the Sidmouth and Whitechapel fatbergs.

Intelligens Flow, from HWM, is an ideal solution for flow monitoring in wastewater applications.  Combining our leading Intelligens data logger with a Doppler velocity probe and level measuring technology, Intelligens Flow is a cost-effective solution for fixed network monitoring.

The Sidmouth fatberg highlights that sewer blockages are not only a problem for big cities and highly urbanised areas. Blockages and fatbergs can develop anywhere within a sewer network.  Effective monitoring is important in avoiding potentially highly expensive blockages which in extreme cases can cause sewers to back up and the risk of sewage flooding.

For more information about the Intelligens Flow system please click here.

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