United Utilities have been giving the general public an insight into the things that they find in the sewer systems they service.

Drainage experts in Cheshire revealed items found include shopping trolleys, traffic cones, mobile phones, and even a set of crutches. The company conducted a survey of 1,200 customers which highlighted the region is still unsure what items can and what items can’t be flushed down the toilet. Large numbers of people still flush wipes down the toilet and 11% of people admit to flushing things such as food down the toilet. The company conducted the survey to coincide with World Toilet Day, which was on the 19th of November.
Mike Wood is the Wastewater manager at United Utilities. He stated:

“Although the strange findings in our sewers sound amusing, this is actually a very serious issue.

“World Toilet Day is a great opportunity for us to communicate the message that sewers are built to cope only with wastewater and are unable to process anything heavier.

“People need to understand that by flushing the wrong items they’re causing problems underground in the sewer network and potential flooding of their own homes.

“We also want to educate people that flushing away household items such as make-up wipes and cotton buds is not acceptable either.

“United Utilities has to remove 15,000 blockages annually and in extreme circumstances help deal with the 1,030 homes flooded each year as a consequence.

“By taking simple steps – such as having a bathroom bin – these blockages can be reduced.”

United utilities maintain around 40,000km of sewer pipes across the region and look after 582 sewage treatment works.

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