TV documentary performs fatberg autopsy under London’s streets

A Channel 4 fatberg documentary featuring Thames Water is being aired on Tuesday 24 April.

Fatberg Autopsy: Secret of the Sewers will – in Channel 4’s own words – “look to expose exactly what fatbergs are made of, what dirty secrets they hold about our modern habits, and uncover the danger they pose to our cities and, most worryingly, to our health.” Large parts of the show were filmed on location with Thames Water, waste partners Lanes and other experts at Abbey Mills sewage pumping station and in London’s sewers.

It will feature the first scientific autopsy on five tonnes of fatberg, taken from a trunk sewer under Blackfriars Road, during which experts will analyse the contents to discover the chemistry, biology and toxicology as well as how non-flushable items such as wipes contributed to its formation.

Thames Water’s Becky Trotman said: “Never before has a programme with the potential to change so many people’s behaviour been on prime-time TV so it’s an exciting time.

“This has all come about following the media frenzy around the Whitechapel fatberg which hit the headlines last autumn and although Thames Water and fatbergs have been featured in documentaries before this is totally different. Most of the filming took place in January and February so involved cold dark nights and very long, wet days but it’s been well worth it.

“We hope the show attracts a huge audience who will be inspired to think twice about what they flush away in future.”

The show will air on Channel 4 at 9pm on Tuesday April 24.