The biggest ever fatberg in the North West has been found lurking in a sewer in Liverpool.
United Utilities has launched an unprecedented clean-up operation to remove the giant fatberg - the biggest ever found in the North West.
Measuring 84-metres (275 ft) and 90-tonnes, the fatberg is bigger than a jumbo jet and weighs the equivalent of 13 African elephants.
The fatberg (the weight of approximately 13 African elephants!) is caused by a combination of congealed cooking fats, grease and unflushable items, including thousands of wet wipes and sanitary products.
The utility firm said engineers are having to use pickaxes to dig out the solid blockage before it is sent for recycling into biofuel. But experts say it could take eight weeks to fully remove it.
A spokesman for United Utilities said the 90-tonne terror deep that lies deep underground should serve as a reminder of what can happen if unflushable objects enter the sewerage system.
The spokesman said: "Our sewer systems are only designed for water, toilet paper and human waste to flow through and not the increasing volume of fat and other items such as wet wipes, which are contributing to over 25,000 sewer blockages in the North West every year.
"Fatbergs block our sewerage system which can wreak havoc in homes and businesses.
"These blockages stop sewage passing through the pipe - eventually forcing the wretched smelly gunk back up to escape wherever it can onto roads, gardens and homes."
How can we prevent fatbergs?
According to United Utilities, we can help banish fatbergs by following these simple rules.
- Never pour fats, oils or grease down the sink
- Remember the "3Ps" (paper, pee and poo) when flushing