The £70 million job of removing the bizarre items blocking drains
Britain started 2014 with the wettest winter in 250 years and continued to experience extreme weather throughout the year. While there has been a significant increase in the intensity of rain storms, it is more important now than ever to look after our drains and sewage systems to avoid the risk of severe flooding. At the end of last year it was reported that £70 million was spent cleaning 300,000 blockages in our drains caused by a host of bizarre items, including:
- False teeth
- Prosthetic limbs
- Dead cow
- Dead snake
- Severed finger
- Tennis balls
More random items which were fished out of our sewers included half a Mini removed by Thames Water and a moped which was found in the same manhole as a sofa. After homeowners in the Midlands complained about a fishy smell in the area in April last year, half a dozen piranhas were caught in a nearby sewer.
While this list contains some rather amusing items, such irresponsible behaviour is causing millions of pounds to be paid out each year to fix damaged drains. This can easily be prevented if everyone took more effort to notice the rubbish they are disposing of in our drains and sewer systems.
What not to flush
The biggest and most common cause of blockages was caused by fat, oils and grease which have been poured down the sink rather than thrown away. Contrary to popular belief, wet wipes, nappies and sanitary items do not disintegrate into thin air and so cannot be flushed down the toilet. Other such items include:
- cotton buds
- chewing gum
A build up of these items and substances has led to giant ‘fatbergs’ forming in sewer systems, causing more than two thirds of sewer blockages in the UK. While this is a pretty worrying reality, we can all contribute to reducing the chance of this happening by paying close attention to what we pour down our drains.
In line with the Bag It & Bin It campaign which we covered in October, Consumer Council for Water (CCW) has urged people to dispose of their rubbish responsibly rather than flush it down the toilet or pour it down the drain. It is recommended that homeowners keep a container in their kitchen to collect substances such as cooking fat, oil and grease to throw away instead of rinsing them down the sink.
If you suspect that your drains are blocked, don’t hesitate to contact our experts here at Clearfirst as soon as possible. We have a fast response rate, dispatching a fully equipped drainage van straight to your premises with no call-out charge. Simply give us a call or get in touch online today to speak with one of our friendly advisers.