Fighting the monsters lurking beneath your cities

What are Fatbergs?

Fatbergs are huge congealed masses of fats, oils and grease (FOGs) that clog the sewers causing problems in the drainage system. They are formed from incorrect disposal of cooking oil, wet-wipes and other personal hygiene products.

They might seem like a small problem, however the largest fatberg in the world (found in Whitechapel, London) had the equivalent weight of 19 African elephants and was longer than Tower Bridge in London (240 meters!). Now dubbed the 'Whitechapel Monster', it is clear that England has a fatberg problem. As if this wasn't enough, the fatberg problem is slowly becoming global.


The Problem

The economic cost to remove fatbergs is extortionate, with the UK spending approximately £100 million each year to remove around 300,000 fatbergs from the country.

Fatbergs have also been found in New York, Melbourne and Valencia, globalising the problem; danger arises as metagenomic studies of these monstrous deposits give home to dangerous species of antibiotic resistant bacteria, from listeria to e. coli

British Science Festival

Fighting fatbergs one by one

On the Infatuation team, we are keen to not only break down current fatbergs, but to prevent their formation in the first place

cityscape background


wellcome trust
New England Biolabs
Science Facutly Grant
School of Life Sciences
IDT Sponsor
EPSRC Sponsor
Warwick Global Research
Twist Bioscience