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> How cleaning a foul water pipe prevented fatberg at the London Trocadero

How cleaning a foul water pipe prevented fatberg at the London Trocadero


Fat removal from pipes

In 2013, a team of sewerage workers took over three weeks to clear a huge fatberg, believed to be equal to the size of a bus. The initial sign of danger came about when local residents in a block of flats, around the royal borough main sewer, complained about a challenge in flushing their toilets. The gravity of the issue was laid bare when it was revealed that the fatberg, largely made up of solidified grease and oil, obstructed 95% of the 2.4-meter diameter, brick sewer pipe. It is believed by environmental experts that the royal borough of Kingston came close to being flooded with sewage.

It might be useful to have a simple definition of fatberg. Fatberg is viewed as a solidified lump of fat, wet wipes, sanitary items and similar elements found in a sewer system. These items do not break down like toilet paper, hence they become congealed or solidified.

It is commonly believed by sewage and water companies that fatbergs are becoming more frequent. In the UK, London seems to have the highest concentration of food businesses and tends to create an estimated 32m-44m litres of used cooking oil yearly. It is believed that much of this cooking oil is poured down the drains. There is also the increasing use of wet pipes which could have implications below ground level.


Fat removal from pipes

On the 30th of April, a team of drainage engineers from Hydro Cleansing, went down to the Trocadero to work on a foul drain. The Trocadero in London has been a popular entertainment complex, but it is currently being looked at converting into one of West end’s biggest budget hotel. The team of drainage engineers from Hydro Cleansing, used a super combination unit, CCTV unit and a support van with a 50 meters of 4” vacuum hose, to clean out a 40 meters of 9 and 12” foul water pipe.

In accordance with good practice, the fatberg and drainage team, removed the fat from the pipe, to prevent it from growing into fatberg, which could lead to sewage flooding. To ensure the job was carried out to the highest standard, the super combination unit was required to reverse into the building and the vacuum hose was lowered down about 20 meters to support the rope.

The job was carried out by Hydro Cleansing, with environmental safety as a priority. Understanding the importance of preventing a fatberg from developing similar to that at the royal borough of Kingston was important. It was also important to ensure that the fat was extracted from the water pipe and cleaned to a high level.

We are passionate about the environment and our Fatberg and Grease trap emptying divisions, are equipped to provide you with comprehensive service and maintenance of your pipes and sewer systems. You can contact our dedicated team on 020 8689 3339.