Local Victoriana: The Fat Berg

London 1858, The Big Stink and it was a whopper. The introduction of the flushing toilet replacing the chamber-pots that most had traditionally used.

These increased the volume of water and waste that went existing cesspit’s, these in turn overflowed into street drains, these in turn over because they also carried sewage from the factories, the slaughterhouses thus contaminating the London before plopping into the River Thames.

It was such a hot summer and summer a repulsive stench that it was decided sewers needed to be built!

Skip forward 160 years and locally (Kingston Upon Thames) near where I live Thames Water have created another Great Stink when they found a fatberg as big as a bus. The mega fatberg weighs in at 15 Tonnes, a huge ball of congealed fat and It took 10 days to remove the double-decker bus-sized lump of festering food fat mixed with sanitary wipes which formed in drains under a major road in Kingston upon Thames, London.

It does make you gag a bit, and makes me wonder what 1858 was really like!!


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