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London Fatberg Stars in Horror Movies

Friday, February 16, 2018

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To mark a part of the Whitechapel fatberg being on display at the Museum of London, creative agency KK Outlet created a number of low-budget horror movies to tell the story of how the sewer monstrosity came to exist.

Fatberg Formation

A number of factors go into the formation of fatbergs—giant masses of fat and debris that appear in municipal sewer systems. What can begin the formation of the clog are fats and oils poured down the sink, and the flushing of non-flushables (food waste, sanitary towels and wet wipes as a few examples).

Once flushed, these items combine into one solid mass in the sewer pipes, sometimes resulting in blockages and flooding.

In the case of the London fatberg, the behemoth was uncovered during a routine inspection—a catch that can help prevent future issues, as the water company can work to get rid of it before more serious problems arise.

“It’s basically like trying to break up concrete. It’s frustrating as these situations are totally avoidable and caused by fat, oil and grease being washed down sinks and wipes flushed down the loo,” Matt Rimmer, Thames Water’s head of waste networks, said in a statement.

Once the beast had been conquered, the Museum of London aimed to display a piece of the fatberg.

Subterranean Horror Exhibit

KK Outlet was tasked with tasked with marketing for the fatberg exhibit, which is on display until July 1. The result of the agency's efforts: a number of short movies shot in the style of low-budget horror movies, noted Dezeen. The longest film tells the story of the fatberg to date; in this film, the studio replicated the monstrosity’s appearance by using a few liters of custard. In another short, the fatberg drowns a human and a cat.

Curator Vyki Sparkes told Dezeen that the goal of the museum’s exhibition was to chart the history of the fatberg.

"Fatbergs are disgusting, fascinating things which mark a particular moment in London's history, created by people and businesses who discard rubbish and fat which London’s Victorian sewer system was never designed to cope with,” Sparkes said.

The exhibit also highlights the amount of effort it takes to break up one of the monstrosities. The first thing visitors see, according to Sparkes, is a mannequin clothed in the protective gear needed to break down a fatberg.

"Parts of the Whitechapel fatberg was set so hard that jet powered hoses couldn't shift it—Thames Water workers had to take in micro-tools for the confined space,” she added.


Tagged categories: Health and safety; Project Management; Sewer systems

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