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90-tonne fatberg in Liverpool to be converted into biofuels

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A 90-tonne bung of congealed fat is to be dug out by hand from a Liverpool sewer, according to UK water provider United Utilities, who’s sewer engineers will be digging out the fatberg with pickaxes and shovels.

80 metres long, the blockage of congealed fats, oils and other substances was found underneath Birchall Street and couldn’t be moved with conventional high-powered jets, according to the company.

United Utilities outlined that the fat taken from the fatberg will be sent away for recycling into biofuels.

“We tried to clear the fatberg by jetting it with high pressure water, but this has not worked. We are now having to turn to pickaxes and shovels as we dig down onto the sewer so we can manually dig out the blockage,” said Sam Fox of United Utilities.

“The total cost of removing this fatberg will be in excess of £100,000 (€115,000) and each year we tackle around 28,000 blockages in the sewers which serve the North West, costing around £10 million (€11.5 million). There are lots of simple ways to safely dispose of leftover fat or grease, like letting it cool in a container and making sure you only put the “three Ps” down your toilet - pee, poo and paper.”

According to the release, the UK water industry currently spends up to £100 million (€115 million) a year on clearing blockages caused by inappropriate items being send into drain networks.

United Utilities has estimated that it will take upwards of eight weeks to remove the fatberg by hand.