Workers had to cut 'fatberg' with handsaws

Roughly 55 feet underground, workers for a private company were called in to help clear a massive fatberg found in Macomb County and it had to be cut by hand.

Macomb County officials held a press conference on Thursday to show pieces of the fatberg and explain how long it was stuck in the sewer line and how it was removed. 

The Macomb County Public Works Office announced Tuesday night that workers cleared an 11-foot-diameter pipe in Clinton Township that was partially clogged by the collection of oils, grease, fat and solid items such as baby wipes. It was about 100 feet long, 11 feet wide, and as much as 6 feet tall.

Inspectors originally found the fatberg roughly a year ago when a video camera was sent into the pipes to inspect the lines. When they were inspecting it, they found the blockage, made up of grease, fat, oil, and non-biodegradable material - which includes wipes.

The county originally tried to clear it themselves but were unable to do so because it was too congealed. Then they had to call in a private company, Doetsch Environmental Services.

According to the company, they originally planned to vacuum the fatberg to the surface but it was too big and congealed. Then the company set up a platform inside the 11 foot pipe to try and cut the fatberg with hydro jets. Again, it was too big and too tough.

So then they were down to their next option: cut the fatberg by hand with handsaws.

'Fatberg' measuring 100 feet long, 11 feet wide found in metro Detroit sewer line

Fatbergs happen in sewer systems around the world. Last year, a Fatberg in Baltimore caused a blockage that spilled more than a million of gallons of sewage into a river. Earlier this year, a similar blockage caused 300,000 gallons to back up at the University of Michigan.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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