These modern heros tackle the waste and grime plaguing the UK

Thames Water workers tackle a 50ft-long fatberg that’s highly toxic – and have to hack at it with a SHOVEL when the beast defeats their water jet

  • London’s Thames Water tackle a 50ft long fatberg that’s blocking the sewers
  • Berg is highly toxic and contains methane, which could kill them if level too high
  • They have to use shovel to dismantle it when the fatberg defeats their machinery
  • In Malvern, officers Jude and Dan track down drug den in an abandoned caravan
  • West Midlands cleaners Jakob and Wojciech tackle dozens bottles of stale urine 
  • Grime and Punishment: Dirty Britain airs tonight at 8pm on Channel 5

A documentary exploring some of the UK’s filthiest professions has gone underground to reveal the unenviable task of cleaning London’s sewer system. 

In tonight episode of Channel 5’s Grime and Punishment, a team of workers were seen tackling a highly-toxic, 50ft-long fatberg in a South London sewer. 

So-called fatbergs are masses formed of a mix of cooking fats that people discard in their sinks with non-biodegradable waste – such as wet wipes. 

As they grow over time, they can cause serious blockage, and this particular berg defeated the machinery used by John and his team, leaving them with no choice but to hack away at it with shovels. 

A Thames Water team had to tackle a 50ft-long fatberg that was causing blockage in the South London sewers, in Grime and Punishment on Channel 5 

The team had to survey the fatberg in order to decide how to tackle it, but before they could get tools involved, they had to venture into the sewers themselves 

Team leader John has seen a lot of unexpected items in the capital’s sewers, ranging from jewelry to bath toys to guns, knives and even ammunition. 

‘The list is endless, if it fits, it’ll be there,’ he said. 

After receiving reports of a blockage, John’s men had to enter the sewers in order to make an assessment. 

‘We won’t actually know what we’re up against until we’re actually in there,’ he explained. 

Using a remote control camera, the team realised that the fatberg was 50ft long

The fatberg consisted of a mix of cooking fats and solid items that were discarded in toilets, such as wet wipes and sanitary towels 

As a security officer monitored the mission, John entered the sewer with co-worker Chris, who said he’s seen some very bizarre and beautiful things in London’s sewage system, including statues. 

But he added that the smell is horrific, and the hardest part of the job to deal with. 

As the team surveyed the blockage in South London, they found the usual suspects.

‘Starting to see a lot of sanitary products, now, some wet wipes, nappies, feces’ Chris said. 

In the depths of the sewers, they finally came across a long trail of solid matter: the beginning of the fatberg. 

The operation was tricky, because the masses of fat contain fumes that could be toxic to John and Chris. 

The toxic fumes contained by the berg were extremely aggressive and John and Chris had to evacuate the sewers when the level of methane become too high

Team leader John is not afraid to get his hands dirty and entered the sewers to survey the length of the fatberg 

The pair has to use a special alarm to alert them if they’re exposed to lethal gases and had to keep their gas readings updated, paying attention to the level of methane – the most dangerous gas they could deal with. 

Methane is highly flammable, and in the worst case scenario, could cause an explosion. 

When the level of methane reaches three percent, its highest percentage allowed, Chris and John have to leave immediately. 

‘Any further and the risk of a gas episode would have significantly increased because the fat was getting worse and worse and worse as we went up,’ John explained.  

Outside of the sewer, the team monitored John and Chris’ progress and frequently asked them for updates 

The team used a remote control camera to determine their plan of attack, and determined the fatberg was 50ft long. 

They started by using a high pressure water jet that would be strong enough to break concrete.

However, the hose got stuck in wet wipes before it could reach the heart of the matter, and they realised they would have to take the berg down using a shovel. 

They waited long enough for the toxic gases to dissipate before entering the sewers once again. 

When John finally got rid of the blockage, it was 2am and he’d been shoveling sewage for two hours, but he felt proud of a job well-done, saying: ‘I don’t think there was any other way.’  

Grime and Punishment airs tonight at 8pm on Channel 5. 

Source: Read Full Article