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A dried portion of the so-called “Whitechapel fatberg” that blocked a sewer in Whitechapel, London, in 2017 and took nine weeks to remove[n 1]

fat +‎ berg, modelled on iceberg.[1]



fatberg (plural fatbergs)

  1. A large accumulation of fat and discarded toiletries which clogs sewers. [From late 2000s]
    • 2009, Carlos J. Cortes, “The Prisoner”, in The Prisoner, New York, N.Y.: Spectra; Ballantine Books, →ISBN, page 162:
      Months ago a tunnel was clogged with a fatberg. It took a team of workers a month to move it.
    • 2013, Russ Litten, Swear Down[1], London: Tindal Street Press, →ISBN:
      Bleeding big fatberg up there. About half a ton's worth. [...] Gorman feels an involuntary shudder travel down his spine and agitate his stomach. He's seen those fatbergs on the training videos; huge accumulated walls of solidified grease and food and tissue and excrement, the churned result of everyday debris tipped down the domestic sinks and bathtubs and toilets of London.
    • 2014, Adam Roberts, “Anne”, in Bête, London: Gollancz, →ISBN:
      Then I worked in the sewers of Manchester – a six month stint of that, jabbing pressure-water-poles at fatbergs, tonnes of used kebab grease and congealed sump oil, woven together with thousands of used wet wipes.
    • 2017 November 3, “‘Victory declared’ over 130 tonne Whitechapel fatberg”, in BBC News[2], archived from the original on 18 March 2018:
      A 250-metre long fatberg weighing 130 tonnes which was blocking an east London sewer has been cleared after a nine-week "battle". The solid mass of congealed fat, wet wipes, nappies, oil and condoms was found in the Victorian-era tunnel in Whitechapel in September. Thames Water said it had taken longer to clear than expected because of the damage it caused to the sewer.



  1. ^ On display at the Museum of London in London, England, UK.


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