The odd things that folk flush down the drain

Copley water treatment works at Halifax
Copley water treatment works at Halifax

The company has released a list of the most bizarre items that were ever flushed out in its water treatment plants, including army ammunition, mobile phones and even fridge freezers!

In the past year alone, Yorkshire Water has dealt with around 20,000 blockages in the 54,000 kms of pipes it maintains around the region, with half of these being caused by inappropriate items put into the system.

While the most common are items like nappies, cotton buds and wipes or liquids like fats, oils and greases, some more unusual things have also caused disruption at the company’s sites.

Notable among these were live army rounds which caused Yorkshire Water to call in a bomb disposal team.

Fridge freezers and sofas were found in one of the larger trunk sewers, and inside one of them a den had been built, complete with tables and chairs to make it cosy.

Mobile phones, wallets, watches and keys were common items that had been flushed, with less common items such as false teeth and a space hopper also showing up.

Although these discoveries might be a source of amusement for some, they can have a major impact on the sewage treatment process which allows Yorkshire Water to safely treat the region’s waste and return it to the environment.

The company said it wants its customers to think about what they’re putting into its network.

Head of waste water operations Lee Pitcher said: “We want to encourage all of our customers to think carefully about what they’re putting down the drain or the toilet and the effect that could have further down the line.

“Obviously everyone knows you shouldn’t be putting a mobile phone or a wallet down the toilet, but it’s actually the less obvious things that people aren’t aware of which create blockages, causing problems for us and our customers around the region.”