Sewer cleaners in London are aware of the ‘fatbergs’ which lie in the sewers beneath the city, but they came as a bit of a shock to Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud when he filmed his new Television series for Channel 4 – ‘Kevin McCloud’s Man made Home’.

The presenter was seen just last week on the Channel 4 show wading through the depths of the capital’s sewer systems as he looked for an environmentally friendly way to power his bespoke home in the woods. And the idea which he hit upon was to use the alternative energy source provided by the free ‘fatbergs’.

Fatbergs are a congealed mass of cooking fat, which occur when oil, lard and other fats are poured down the drains in the capital by unsuspecting homeowners. They form into thick gluey masses of fatty gunge and pose a serious problem for London drain cleaners.

In the programme Kevin harvested two buckets of the foul smelling fat, which he commented was the “most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen”. He hoped the fat would provide a fuel source for his transit van and power oil lamps. One bucket of the fat was enough to power his van for twenty minutes and illuminate a lamp for one hour.

Kevin said on the programme:

“It might be difficult to get hold of, but if we don’t stop wastefully chucking all our cooking fat and oil down the drain, cars and homes powered by sewer fatbergs might well become a thing of the near future.”

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