Fatberg removal and cleaning
The team of specialist drainage engineers at Lanes for Drains work around the clock and all over the country to remove and clean fatbergs from the UK’s drain and sewer system
We have a nationwide network of depots with the people and state-of-the-art equipment – available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – necessary to Lanes Utilities working hard to remove the Whitechapel Fatberg remove congealed fat in pipes and drains with the minimum of fuss, and the minimum of disruption.
Our specialists work on between 400-600 fatberg-related drainage issues each and every month – including the 130-tonne Whitechapel fatberg – so we know what we’re doing when it comes to fatberg excavation.
What is a fatberg?
At Lanes for Drains, we deal with between 400-550 projects that involve a ‘fatberg’ that is stuck in a sewer or drain every month alone.
But what is this thing that lurks in the sewers and takes up so much of our time and resources?
In this advice piece we will tell you everything you need to know about fatbergs – and how to avoid creating them.
What does ‘fatberg’ mean?
‘Fatberg’, as you may expect, is the sewer’s equivalent of an iceberg, and is a term that refers to a congealed mass of:
- Sanitary products
- Wet wipes
- Cotton buds
- Nappies and pads
- Bandages and plasters
- Razor blades
As it grows, this lump gets stuck in drains and sewers. When drains and sewers get blocked, it means they don’t work as effectively as they should, potentially leading to foul waste flooding and pollution in the local environment.
In addition, they need be to dug up, which leads to major excavation works having to be carried out on our streets.
How does a fatberg develop?
So, what causes a fatberg?
As you may guess, it’s putting the things in the list above into our drains or down the toilet – because they don’t break down in the same way that toilet paper does.
They can be avoided by adopting these three simple practices:
- Make sure you never pour fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the sink
- Clear all food from your plates into a bin, rather than emptying it down the sink. Even crumbs help fatbergs grow
- Follow the *3 Ps* (pee, poo and paper): only flush pee, poo and toilet paper down the toilet. Everything else needs to go in the bin.
How to get rid of a fatberg?
We have to use powerful, state-of-the-art equipment to get rid of fatbergs from our drains and sewers.
First, we need to break up the fatbergs into smaller chunks We do this by using our special jetting units, which expel 10 gallons of water per minute at a pressure of 3,000psi.
We then use a mix of manual excavation and our top-of-the-line tanker units, with powerful vacuum pumps, to remove the broken-up fatberg from underground.
The Thames Water ‘monster’ fatberg
In September and October 2017, Lanes for Drains worked alongside Thames Water to remove the biggest fatberg ever discovered from the sewers beneath Whitechapel in London.
The London fatberg, which took nine weeks to excavate, was 250 metres long – the length of 11 double-decker buses – and weighed 130 tonnes
The Lanes for Drains Fatberg Fighters
To help teach the the British public more about the dangers of fatbergs and how to avoid them, Lanes for Drains has been working with primary schools around the country to teach pupils how to become certified ‘Fatberg Fighters’.
For more information about these lessons, visit our educational resources section.