Fat's disgusting: London sewer clean-up begins
A team of workers sporting breathing apparatus and carrying shovels has started clearing around 1,000 tonnes of fat from sewers around London's Leicester Square, a water company said Tuesday.
Cooking fat being poured down drains under one of the city's main tourist attractions is thought to be causing blockages.
Leicester Square borders London's Chinatown and its bustling restaurants and cafes, as well as the West End and Soho entertainment districts.
The clean-up, which could take up to two months, is described as the biggest ever of its kind by Thames Water, the firm organising it.
Danny Brackley, one of those involved in the clean-up, said they could not even access the sewers at first as they were blocked by a four foot (1.2 metre) thick wall of solid fat.
"Cooking fat down drains is a big 'no no'," Brackley said. "As soon as it is poured away, it cools down quickly and sets hard, forming a solid obstruction."
© 2010 AFP