If you prefer astronomical units(*)
it's 2 femtoparsecs.
(*) On the grounds the only good news at the moment seems to be space related.
As if Brexit chaos wasn't enough to bring us down after the festive season's indulgence, South West Water has brought word of a new fatberg in town. The latest mass of hardened fat, oil, wet-wipes, condoms and other filth congealing under our fair isle was discovered lurking below the streets of Sidmouth, a charming tourist …
This means the Devon fatberg is more accurately described as being the length of 457.14 linguine (unboiled at sea level), or 2.91 Brontosauruses.
So is there a conversion formula for boiled vs raw Brontosaurus by altitude?
I'm also thinking one way to discourage sewer abusers would be to work out how many addresses were served by that pipe. Then carve it up based on rateable value and deliver. Possibly with jumbo-sized portions to fast-food outlets. Downside might be if the fat's then recycled.
When I was a callow youth I once cycled from Exeter to Sidmouth. Not too bad a journey really with a wonderfully long free wheel down to the beach. Of course going home that wonderfully long free wheel turned into a bit of an arse :-/
This escapade can be dated by the fact I went there to see DevonAir doing an OB event :)
Now imagine going up Sidmouth Hill (From Newton Poppleford) towards Sidmouth in a Isseta (Bubble car) in the 60's.
I don't have to as father tried to drive his up the hill & failed blocking the road & requiring a three point turn (No reverse gear on those things, so had to be helped by other drivers to turn it about) 2/3rds of the way up the hill.
I was in the middle of the bench seat twixt Mum & Dad not sure if my sister was also present in her carry cot on the parcel shelf.
No reverse gear on those things [Bubble cars], so had to be helped by other drivers to turn it about
When I was in Junior School one of the teachers had a Bubble car, and one day parked it far too close to a wall. We had great fun pretending not to understand that he wanted us to push it backwards so he could open the door - "Sorry Sir, can't hear what you're saying in there".
"I don't have to as father tried to drive his up the hill & failed blocking the road & requiring a three point turn (No reverse gear on those things, so had to be helped by other drivers to turn it about) 2/3rds of the way up the hill."
Not as bad as that, but back in the late 60's I remember a holiday trip that involved mum and three kids (me being one of them) walking up a hill carrying the holiday luggage while dad eventually managed to get the Moggie 1000 up the hill with all our excess weight removed.
They always say 'don't pour oil down the sink' - okay, but what they hell do we do with half a bottle of well-out-of-date rapeseed oil? Round here we have food waste recycling - which involves putting it in plastic bags. Not sure that will be too effective for liquids.
Save it up for Nov 5th? Or the post-revocation-of-article-50 bonfire of the Brexiters?
They always say 'don't pour oil down the sink' - okay, but what they hell do we do with half a bottle of well-out-of-date rapeseed oil?
Landfill's fine, or (increasingly common due to landfill tax) incineration in a EfW or CHP plant actually gets a small chunk of the energy content out. It'll also compost quite well in commercial scale composters, but much less desirable in domestic composting.
But there's something going on here that needs an explanation. Back in the 1990s I worked for a water and sewerage company for a good few years, and I prided myself on being close to the operations and technology side, actually getting involved with the operations side. And we had occasional fat problems, but not this plague of fatbergs we see reported now.
It might be the "flush-able" wipes
Maybe, but but they were around in the '90s, and the lignin fibres in bog roll have always made their way through the sewerage system. I suspect that there's some confluence of factors, involving that but notably compounded by low temperature clothes washes, efforts to reduce detergent "over use", and crappy, ineffective eco-detergents.
I'm sure the eco-detergents and low temp washes save energy at point of use, if you factor in the vast effort to clear a fatberg, maybe they weren't such a good idea.
But so-called "flushable wipes" are not the same as bog roll and don't break down. The base material is "air-laid paper" that only has 85% fibre content and has binders added to get the material to actually form a sheet (activated by heat).
Of course, chucking down fat into the sewerage system is a huge problem in itself, but I think these products should be marked as NON-flushable by law. Manufacturers in Australia have been fined for making false claims that they break down like TP.
Most fatberg blame is applied to various wipes (be they face, lower regions or whatever wipes) that people flush away without really being aware they do not easily break down like "classic" loo roll.
I'm sure inspections (or lack of them) do not help, but widespread use of long sewer lifetime wipes is regarded as key issue - look at some of the fatberg images (including cross sections) - an awful lot of wipes in there.
Wipes labelled "flushable" in 2018 did not break down when tested by water companies sewer trip simulation tests (less agressive than tests teh manufactuers use) (doubt much has improved since 2018) - and those wipes really ought to be labelled not flushable (in huge letters that take up most of the packaging)
Well, the size of the fat blobs will be inversely proportional to the inverse of the sewer inspection period, give or take a power/logarithm. How often does SWW send a guy down there, compared with the '90s? I'm guessing it takes at least a decafortnight or two to make a 340-govt-standard-Welsh-dresser fatberg.
Back in the 90s the water companies were still either publicly-owned, or newly-privatised.
I would not be surprised if at some point in the last twenty years a bean counter has worked out that shareholder value can be increased by decreasing the frequency of routine inspections.
My father-in-law used to have a proper garage where people could take their cars and get them fixed unlike the garage of today where the "technicians" just plug them into a laptop and read the output and follow the instructions... In the aforesaid garage there was an oil fired space heater that was designed to take waste engine oil but would quite happily consume any other oil you cared to feed it. There are no documented comments/reactions from the local populace as to the smell of the noxious gasses produced by the heater vent/chimney :-)
Ah-h-h-h-h-h... Fosters! I remember back in the day when it first came commonly available in the States that you'd get the occasional frat-boy or other slope-neck who was used to chugging, say, a Budweiser and then smashing the can on his forehead try to show off his studliness by doing the same with a Fosters oilcan.
It generally ended about the way you (but apparently not HE!) would expect.
Funny as hell seeing a guy walking around campus on a Monday morning with huge bruise-ring on his forehead, though!
SWW: "we caught it just in time"
No! You allowed it to grow to the size of 2.91 Brontosauruses, taller than the leaning tower of Pisa, longer than a jumbo jet... 'just in time' was a long time ago, well before it got into the next Guinness Book of Record Turds
Shoehorning the word "Brexit" into the first sentence of an article that has absolutely nothing to do with the referendum isn't exactly helping to keep the spirit of the festive season alive, either. Was that the point?
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