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Fatberg art installation allows visitors to take a walk through the sewers - without the smell!

PUBLISHED: 14:37 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:37 19 December 2017

Kaavous Clayton with the giant replica sewer with fatberg that is on display in Yarmouth.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Kaavous Clayton with the giant replica sewer with fatberg that is on display in Yarmouth. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A new art installation in Great Yarmouth is getting visitors all of a flush, with an important environmental message behind it.

Kaavous Clayton with the giant replica sewer with fatberg that is on display in Yarmouth.
Picture: Nick ButcherKaavous Clayton with the giant replica sewer with fatberg that is on display in Yarmouth. Picture: Nick Butcher

Fatberg, which has been commissioned by Original Projects is a nine metre long replica sewer, which has been fitted into a vacant unit on King Street in the town.

The sewer - which is large enough in diameter to walk through - comes complete with an imitation fatberg to display the implications of flushing the wrong things.

The project was created by artists Clare and Broa Sams and commisioned by Kaavous Clayton and Julia Devonshire of Original Projects.

Mr Clayton said: “The inspiration came from a giant fatberg discovered in the Whitechapel area in London - which is soon to be put in a museum itself.

Kaavous Clayton with the giant replica sewer with fatberg that is on display in Yarmouth.
Picture: Nick ButcherKaavous Clayton with the giant replica sewer with fatberg that is on display in Yarmouth. Picture: Nick Butcher

“We thought given at Christmas we do most things in excess, it would be a good way of showing that things flushed down to toilet do not just disappear.”

The giant stretch of sewer is made mainly of wood, with pieces of cloth used to create the fatberg inside, along with several items that would normally make up blockages - such as cotton buds, plastics and sanitary towels.

Mr Clayton added: “It looks impossible in the place, like something Banksy would do, in a similar vein to his Dismaland project in Weston-super-Mare.

“It’s definitely something a bit different and grabs the attention - but it makes just one person rethink what they are flushing down the loo then that’s great too.”

Visitors were given a sneak peak of the installation on Saturday, which will be open to the public every Saturday between 12pm and 5pm for the next few months.

Mr Clayton said “We’ve had some wonderful feedback so far, the people who have seen it so far thought it was great.

“Lots of people were commenting on how good it is to have something like this in Great Yarmouth and that things are happening here.”

The installation is on display at 167a King Street in the town - the shop unit that was formerly Prism Lesiure record shop, which closed in 2012.

What is a fatberg?

A fatberg is a congealed lump of fat and waste items that causes blockages in sewer systems.

They tend to consist of such items as sanitary items, wet wipes, nappies and other unappealing items that people flush down their toilets and down their plug holes.

In April, Anglian Water removed an enormous sewerage pump from the sewers in Lowestoft, which had seen waste products congeal around it, causing a blockage.

Sarah Dobson, of Anglian Water, said at the time: “The reality is, most people don’t know they shouldn’t flush wipes, and the same is true of sanitary items.”

In September, a fatberg weighing the same as 11 double decker buses and stretching the length of two football pitches was removed from London’s sewage network in the Whitechapel area.

The 130 tonne fatberg, which was described as a “monster”, will be placed on display at the Museum of London in 2018.

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