Dead sheep, hand grenade and severed fingers - strange things found in the sewers

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It’s World Toilet Day today (Thursday November 19) and households across Sussex are being urged to join the battle to reduce the tens of thousands of blockages clogging up our drains and sewers.

Southern Water reports that among the unusual items found in the sewers have been dead sheep, false teeth, severed fingers, teddy bears and ‘adult toys’.

But none of these items came close to matching the pain in the drain caused by the thousands of wet wipes flushed down the loo, or the greasy fats and oils poured down the sink.

Steve Grebby, Consumer Council for Water’s sewerage expert, said: “Sewer flooding causes misery for thousands of households every year, which is why it’s in all our interests to keep our drains and sewers clear and flowing freely.

“One very simple way we can do that is by making sure we only flush pee, poo and paper down the loo.”

According to CCWater research a growing number of consumers (64% in 2014 compared to 43% in 2013) can identify what items should not be flushed down the loo.3 But wet and so called ‘flushable’ wipes still accounted for up to a third of sewer blockages in some parts of England and Wales.

And ultimately it’s customers who end up footing the bill to clear up the mess through their water and sewerage bills.

Southern Water says 12,400 sewer blockages in the past year have been caused by fats, oils, greases and other non-biodegradable items.

Among other water companies, strange sewer discoveries have included a motorbike, a dead badger and a hand grenade.

CCWater was established in 2005 to provide strong representation for water customers in England and Wales.

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