They say shit happens. Although, fortunately, in this case it didn’t.

The residents of prestigious Kingston upon Thames in south-west London came butt-clenchingly close to being knee-deep in raw sewage, as a congealed, 15-tonne lump of festering food fat mixed with wet wipes and sanitary products blocked the area’s sewer.

The lump, the size of a double decker bus, was discovered just in time as residents complained they couldn’t flush their toilets. The blockage caused the sewer pipe to shrink to less than 5% of its normal capacity.

“We’ve never seen a single congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before,” said Thames Water waste contracts supervisor Gordon Hailwood.

The removal of the lump alone took 10 nights of blasting it with a high-pressure hose, while repairs to the pipe are now being carried out and are expected to take around six weeks due to the excessive damage the lardy lump caused. Rather them than us.

Hailwood added: “Given that we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we’ve encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history.”

Illustrating his point with a vivid description of an apocalyptic vision of Kingston upon Poo, Hailwood said “If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.”

He went on to warn, “Homes and businesses need to change their ways. When it comes to fat and wipes, please remember: ‘Bin it – don’t block it.’” 

Image: Thames Water / County Clean