London’s ‘Monster’ fatbergs conceal a deadly secret
BANNED performance-enhancing supplements. Drug resistant bacteria.
These are the disturbing new finds in an 'autopsy' of an enormous 750m long 'fatberg' found on the South Bank in Central London. It's just one of 12 such greasy beasts currently clogging London's sewerage system.
All have to be cleared by hand.
And that costs about $1.5 million, each month.
Waterworks authorities have been given the job of finding out exactly what's causing - and what's in - these enormous blobs of congealed fat.
And what Londoners have been flushing down their toilets is cause for concern.
The process goes something like this.
Leftover cooking oil gets tipped down the sink.
This is immediately attracted to the 'wet-ones' people insist on flushing down their toilets despite warnings not to do so.
Together, they catch an enormous variety gruesome discards.
Human fat. Sanitary pads. Condoms. Needles.
"The fat sticks to the side of the pipe, the wet wipes come down and stick to the fat, other fat comes down and sticks to the wet wipes and that adds to the mass of the fatberg," civil engineering consultant Andy Drinkwater told The Guardian.
But it's the trace elements bound within the 90 per cent fat that is so revealing.
Among the surprise discoveries is the sheer quantity of banned muscle-growth supplements such as hordenine and ostarine. These were found in far greater quantities than recreational drugs such as MDMA and cocaine.
But this was not the worst of it.
There were also thriving colonies of antibiotic-resistant, life-threatening bacterins. These include Lysteria, Campylobactre, and E. coli.
While contained to the sewerage system at the moment, there is the threat these could overflow and contaminate the surface above - just like the devastating cholera epidemics of centuries past.