330 tons of “grease mountain” blocked the sewers of Britain’s second largest city

Original title: 330 tons of “grease hills” block the sewers of Britain’s second largest city

The UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, recently encountered a major problem: a 330-ton “grease mountain” blocked the city’s sewers, making it extremely difficult to clean up. It is expected that it will not be cleared until June at the earliest.

The English name of the word “fat mountain” is fatberg, and the word formation comes from “fat” (fat) and “iceberg” (iceberg). This term has appeared frequently since 2013, and was officially included in the Oxford Dictionary in 2015. In recent years, it has been selected as one of the “Top Ten Internet Terms of the Year” by some organizations.

As many cities around the world continue to expose the news that giant grease mountains have appeared in the sewers, this stinking thing has attracted attention. Its translations are varied, such as the free translation of “fat ball”, “ditch oil block” and “grease garbage”; The transliteration of “Fatberg”; the most domineering is the combination of free translation and transliteration of “Fat Demon Berg”, inspired by the magical novel “Harry Potter” by the British writer J.K. Rowling Villain Voldemort.

On March 13, 2013, several staff members inspected the London sewer system. (Xinhua News Agency/Reuters)

For the city management department, it is always a headache to mention “Fat Moberg”, and investing large sums of money every month may not be able to successfully exorcise the “devil.” According to the Thames Water Company, the British capital London needs to spend 1 million pounds (approximately 8.94 million yuan) a month to clean up the grease mountain in the sewer, “the difficulty is basically similar to breaking concrete.”

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CNN reported that according to preliminary estimates, the “mountain” of grease in Birmingham has a total length of more than 800 meters and a weight of 330 tons. Serven Trent, the company responsible for cleaning up the sewers, said that as for the size of the grease mountain, “we will not know until the cleaning is completed. It is probably one of the largest grease mountain that the company has dealt with.”

Scott Birkin, the manager of Severn Trent, reminds people that proper disposal of garbage and waste cooking oil, especially not dumping garbage into toilets and sewers, can prevent “Fat Moberg” from appearing. “People use toilets to flush away certain rubbish from time to time,” such as leftover soup, wet tissues, sanitary napkins and diapers. These fibers, grease and detergent chemically react in the sewer and become hard solids.

Birkin suggested that when people discard leftovers, they should cool the fat and put it in the trash can instead of dumping it into the toilet. A simple principle is: Except for “shit, urine and toilet paper”, all other things are thrown into the trash can instead of the toilet.

On August 24, 2020, people wearing masks entered a shopping mall in Birmingham under the new crown epidemic. (Posted by Xinhua News Agency, photo by Jon Huper)

Grease Mountain not only blocks the sewers, but also contains various pathogenic bacteria such as Campylobacter and Listeria, and even emits poisonous gas. If it is not handled properly, even a small piece of dirt may take the lives of sewer operators and threaten the health of the public.

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In 2017, London fought a “sewer war”, and the grease mountain that was finally cleared was about 250 meters long and weighed 130 tons, which was equivalent to the total weight of 11 double-decker buses. In 2018, the London Museum cut a section of the grease mountain and sealed it for exhibition. As a result, it became one of the most popular exhibits in the museum. Many people saw this exhibit gradually “sweat”, change color, and even hatched flies. While shouting disgusting, they couldn’t help but reflect on how to throw out the trash.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

(Editor in charge: DF398)

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