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This is Blue Peter, but mini!
Expect epic adventures, mates, bakes, badges,
pets, presenters, and your post.
Coming up, things get yucky! You have been warned.
London, home to over eight million people and growing.
Producing millions of tonnes of waste that
relies on a network of sewers built 150 years ago.
And they're struggling to keep up with all that poo.
Something had to be done, so, new super-sewers like this
one are here to help take the extra waste away.
This is newly built Lee Tunnel, and I'm one of the last
people to come down here before it starts being used.
At 80 metres below the surface,
it's almost as deep as Big Ben is tall.
BIG BEN CHIMES
And it will be able to handle more than 16 million
tonnes of sewage every year. That's a whole lot of poo.
And down here there's only one way to travel. In style.
This is the deepest tunnel ever built in London,
and it stretches four miles that way.
Go for it Ian!
What's great is that it doesn't smell. Yet. It will smell.
At the end of the tunnel is the pumping station where the waste will
get transported back to the surface to be treated.
It's also the place where you'll find Phil who helped construct the
new sewer. So Phil, why is this new super-sewage system so important?
Why does it need to be here?
Well, in the 1850s when the Victorians built the sewage
system, there was only about two million people in London.
Now we're over eight million.
We need somewhere for our additional sewage to go.
Without the super-sewer,
that additional sewage would flow into the Thames.
And I guess that's what this pipe here does, isn't it?
Yeah, this pipe takes it from the tunnel, all the way up
to the top to be treated in the sewage treatment works.
So is there anything that I can do to help on this massive project?
Well we've got a few more of these bolts to tighten up,
so if we go over there, we'll get to it.
Great! Let's do it!
The bolts I'm about to tighten seal the massive pipes that
transport the waste back to the surface.
-So I'd want to put the spanner on the bottom, here.
Luckily for me, there's a special machine that does all the hard work.
-And if you push that machine in, push that button at the top.
-Hear it click-in there.
-Oh, it's tight enough! It's happy, isn't it!
-No leaks here.
-No leaks here!
London, thanks to me you're safe from leaky poo now.
Bolts tightened, and the Lee Tunnel is almost ready to be opened.
Do you know what?
I'm just really glad I got sent down a nice, clean sewer,
and I didn't have to go in a stinky Victorian one.
-Wait, the films not over yet, is it?
-I'm going to have to go in a smelly sewer, aren't I?
Yup, that's certainly stinky. When I say stinky, I mean it.
It absolutely hums down here...
This sewer runs beneath one of London's busiest areas,
and it was designed 150 years ago by this man.
Joseph Bazalgette... Nice 'tache, Baz...
To take away the city's waste.
Before the sewer network was built, raw sewage went straight into
the streets and rivers, spreading disease and making the city smell.
In 1858, it got so bad that the era became known as the
"Great Stink of London". Poo-eee!
But nowadays along with the increased population,
there's another problem causing a strain on the sewers.
Because lurking in the shadows are "fatbergs".
Mixed in with all this poo,
the fatbergs are huge lumps of congealed grease and oil,
combined with food and rubbish that can be hundreds of metres long.
Yuck. And today, I'm taking the fatbergs on.
Gary, it's good to meet you,
but I would have preferred not to meet you down a sewer.
What are we going to be doing today?
Today we're going to be clearing a bit of fat off the walls.
I brought you a little present as well.
-So you can give me a hand doing it.
-Brilliant...A pooey shovel.
-OK, so where do we start here?
-Well, you just go down like that, tug it.
I think I can manage that. There's just one small problem.
Sorry, this smell is so bad. This is horrible!
-Do you know what your best thing is to do?
Think of somewhere hot and nice. It totally goes out your mind.
-I don't know about that.
-It will, trust me.
-Woo, come on!
Let the shovelling begin.
There you go, Linds, look at that.
What this is, is the fat is actually on the side of the walls,
on top of the float.
Oh, that is so deep!
So, Gary, what SHOULD be down here?
Only three things should be down in this sewer,
-and that's pee, paper, and poo.
-The three Ps.
-The three Ps.
-That's it, nothing else.
Anything else you put down your loo or your sink ends up here.
Fatbergs also come at a price because
they cost water companies millions of pounds to get rid of.
THAT is what a fatberg looks like, and it absolutely stinks.
-Can I put it down?
-Yeah, just put it down over there...
You know what, that was SO smelly down there,
but having seen what's down there, I now understand exactly why
new super-sewers like Lee Tunnel are needed.
Can I get out now?
Thankfully, the new sewer will be sending
millions of tonnes of waste to this treatment works to be filtered.
After the sewage is treated, it ends up here,
where it re-enters the river Thames as clean water.
I can an smell something really pooey.
I think it's me.
Join in every Thursday on CBBC!
Lindsey helps to clean out a clogged-up Victorian sewer in London and discovers why a new supersewer has been built.