The citizens of London can breathe easier now that a massive blockage has been removed from city’s sewer system.
It took crews nine weeks to clear out the blockage, which was over 800 feet long. The blockage, affectionately called a “fatberg,” was a mostly solid mass of fat, diapers, wipes and other gross stuff that probably isn’t supposed to be flushed or sent down the drain. Workers used jets of water and even dug it out manually.
There’s no doubt the weary workers have some horror stories to tell. Let’s hope they’re getting a knighthood for their living nightmare.
Be glad you don’t live in the U.K. — unless you live in the U.K., in which case, run! It sounds like the entire country is a nightmare right now.
We recently told you about how the sewers of Cheltenham regularly back up, and it seems the problem has only worsened since then. Indeed, the whole town was paralyzed in fear after a “fatberg” blocked up the town’s entire sewer system. The solidified blob of fat made it so people in town couldn’t even flush their toilets. The blockage was cleared before it spilled onto the streets, but we probably haven’t heard the last from it.
If that wasn’t enough, a new race of superslugs is invading Britain, albeit very slowly. Researchers say that an invasive species of slug, which is from Spain, is breeding with a native species and creating a hybrid. The Spanish slug is larger than the British slug, and likes to eat stuff like dead mice and its fellow slugs, and it’s an attractive meal for native predators. The hybrid species has these tendencies, but with the native species’ tolerance for frost. It is a race of superslug that is poised to take over the country.
Our thoughts are with our allies at this time.
First, London sewers were plagued by them during the holidays. Now, the threat of fatbergs has down down under.
Authorities in Queensland, Australia are warning people not to flush those disposable wipes that have grown in popularity in recent years. They are teaming up with all the fat and semi-solids one would expect to find in a sewer to create blockages called fatbergs, and they threaten to bring sewers to their knees.
“That’s probably a four-meter screen almost completely covered in wet wipes. [There’s also] a little bit of corn; we always get corn,” said Queensland Urban Utilities worker Steve Gibson.
Of course there’s always corn.
Dear Dr. Snee,
I have a 12-year-old son who has recently started spending a lot of time in the bathroom. A lot of time. When I ask him what he’s doing, he refuses to look me in the eye and says that he “was just, you know, going to the bathroom.” As a mother, I’d like to believe him, but what kind of kid goes to the bathroom three times in one hour?! What should I do?
12-years-old, eh? Inordinate amount of time in the bathroom, you say? No complete sentences in this medical advice column yet? Continue reading Ask Dr. Snee: A pregnant pause