Thursday, 15 July 2010

Flushing out London's 'fatbergs'

Most of us enjoy a night out 'up West'. London's Theatreland around Leicester Square and Soho is a playground of clubs, pubs and eateries. 

Sadly, one of my favourite Soho restaurants recently fell foul of a recent cockroach incursion. Understandably, Westminster's food inspectors slapped a temporary closure order on the joint. We thought those anchovies tasted a bit funny!

But the problem of hygiene and sanitation scuttles far deeper than a few cockroaches. As you know, every now and again that vicious West End whiff whips up the nostrils, especially in hot summer weather. Much of this 21st Century big stink comes from the 'fatbergs' of congealed cooking fat clogging up the West End's sewers.

So, spare a thought for London's team of sewer flushers who are currently blasting the 'fatbergs' with powerful water jets. They aim to clear 1,000 tonnes of putrifying cooking fat blocking the sewers beneath Leicester Square (above photo).

For many years now, West End restaurants and residences have been callously chucking cooking oil and fat down their drains into London's Victorian sewers.

According to Thames Water's puff people, (I mean PR team) that's the equivalent of "nine double-decker bus loads" of solidifying, oxygen-eating and methane emitting sludge.

The flushers' 'lard' job is made even tougher by the wet wipes and sanitary products bunged down there too. (Sorry, lard-on the pun). Good luck guys!

There's only one group of Londoners who love this stinky stuff - the West End's rats - who 'dig' fat as a food source and dig into fatbergs for nightly warmth. In fact, you'll rarely see a rat in a fat free sewer. 

Now, sir, madam, would you like to see the dessert menu?

Photo: Thames Water

Paul Coleman, London, July 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So disgusting!! :)