The massive clog in a two-foot-wide pipe under Lanvale Street between Charles and Maryland streets was detected after recent sewage overflows.
Removing it was no easy task, said Jeffrey Raymond, a spokesman for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works. The job, estimated to have cost as much as $60,000, demanded water jets, a scraper and a vacuum truck to suck out the fatberg and surrounding debris. A bypass line also had to be constructed to preserve a "clean working environment," Raymond said.
"Think about a can of lard - and multiply it," he said.
Officials lay blame for the blockage on a culprit familiar to civil engineers: flushable wipes. One-hundred-year-old sewer systems built in an age of "nonexistent environmentalism," Raymond said, are not equipped to handle wipes sometimes marketed as disposable that some say are anything but.
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