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Fat heavier than 130 elephants removed from Mermaid Quay sewer


Fat weighing the equivalent of 133 African bull elephants has been removed from sewers beneath the streets of one of Cardiff’s busiest areas.

The fat was removed by Welsh Water as part of its work to repair the Victorian brick sewer in Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay.

Work on the £2 million investment project, which began in September, involves repairing the sewer which runs under Stuart Street and Bute Street. The work was needed due to large blockages in the sewer caused mainly by the build-up of fat, oil and grease and other items being illegally put into the sewer.

To enable the company to progress with the repair it has had to bring in specialist equipment to remove the fat which has built up in the sewer. So far, around 800 tons has been removed from the sewer –the equivalent weight of 133 African bull elephants.

Since September, the work has been carried out in phases to minimise the impact on the local area. Work on the project will stop over the festive period from 21st December before starting again on January 8th.

Steve Wilson, Welsh Water’s Managing Director of Wastewater Services, said:
“Work on the Mermaid Quay scheme is definitely proving to be a challenging one due to the large volume of fat, grease and oil which had built up in the sewer and caused a number of sewer collapses along Bute Street and Stuart Street. While we know this is a busy area, the sheer volume of this material we’ve taken out of the sewer shows the scale of the issues we are tackling.

“Our teams have been working hard to repair these collapses and we really do appreciate the cooperation which has been shown to us by local traders and residents – and for this we would really like to say a big thank you.”

He added: “We always ask our customers to be careful about what they dispose of down the drains so that our sewers continue to operate effectively. We are working with the businesses in and around Mermaid Quay to make sure they have the right equipment in place to help them dispose of fats, oils and grease in the correct way to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“We are also running our ‘Let’s Stop the Block’ campaign which is aimed at encouraging people to help reduce the risk of pollution and sewage flooding by not putting fat, oil and grease down the drains.”