The X-crement factor: Little Mix in the sewer

Matt Thompson, of Yorkshire Water, with some of the unwanted presents
Matt Thompson, of Yorkshire Water, with some of the unwanted presents

They might have won the most votes on the X Factor but it seems Little Mix’s cover of Cannonball isn’t to everyone’s taste.

A CD of the winners’ single was among a haul of unwanted Christmas presents fished out of Yorkshire Water’s sewage works after their ungrateful new owners expressed their distaste.

A cuddly Cookie Monster toy, novelty socks, Lego bricks and a number of miniature Christmas trees also washed up after a trip through the sewers.

The festive goods are thought to have been dumped down manholes.

Matt Thompson, of Yorkshire Water, said: “Just because you don’t want Little Mix’s record or those socks that Grandma has lovingly knitted for you, it doesn’t mean that we do. Whilst we’re no longer surprised to see unwanted presents coming into our treatment works, it’s always disappointing, as we work so hard to educate people on the dangers of using our sewers as a giant rubbish bin.

“Our message is simple: anything other than human waste and loo roll has no business in our sewers and we’d ask people to do the right thing and make sure they dispose of their rubbish in the correct way.”

Blockages can cause raw sewage to flood into customer’s homes and the environment.

The company sees a 25 per cent hike in clogs at this time of year, mostly caused by people pouring their turkey fat down the sink.

Last week, it began sending fat-busting bacillus bacteria down its sewers at 180 hotspots to tackle it.

So far this year the company has already cleared more than 18,000 blockages from its 54,000km sewerage network.

Pouring fat and oils down the sink or flushing baby wipes, sanitary items or nappies was to blame for 37 per cent of these - at a cost of more than £2 million.

Customers are asked to let fat cool and harden before scraping it into a bin - along with their other rubbish.

• For more advice, visit: www.yorkshirewater.com/dirty.