Thames Water removed the giant fatberg after residents and businesses began to complain about the rancid smell wafting up from the 75-year-old sewer, which had cracked under the strain of the titanic toxic lump. The company now faces a £400,000 repair bill for the two-month task of replacing around 40m of damaged piping.

“The amount of fat we’ve had to remove has been staggering,” said repair and maintenance supervisor Stephen Hunt, quoted in the Daily Telegraph. “Chelsea has done itself proud here. We see blockages all the time on household sewer pipes, which are about big enough for a cricket ball to pass through – but to have this much damage on a sewer almost a metre in diameter is mind-boggling.

“The original sewer has been so badly abused by fat being chucked down the plughole we’ve had to opt for the time-consuming and disruptive option of replacing many metres of pipe.

“I’d urge the residents of Chelsea to consider what lurks beneath their feet – and when it comes to getting rid of fat – ‘bin it – don’t block it’.”

London’s largest-ever fatberg weighed in at 15 tonnes, and was found in Kingston in 2013. And last year sanitation workers spent four days removing a fatberg the length of a Boeing 747 from a sewer in Shepherd’s Bush – its contents including food, fat, wet wipes, tennis balls and planks of wood. Other common causes of blockages include chewing gum, dental floss, plasters and building debris.