Sewer blocked by a large Pooh (and other weird items): Scottish Water launches campaign aimed at reducing 40,000 blockages a year

Scottish Water has launched a campaign aimed at getting some of their customers to use their 'grey fluff' a little more when flushing
  • @bobjwilliams

As the 'bear of very little brain' himself once put it: "People who don’t think probably don’t have brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake."

Scottish Water has launched a campaign aimed at getting some of their customers to use their 'grey fluff' a little more when flushing things down the toilet, after they released a staggering list of some of the weird and wonderful objects found blocking sewers.

Among the items people thought it was wise to flush down toilets, or dump in various manholes, were a pair of pants found in a pumping station, a goldfish, a snake at Dunfermline sewage works, 2x4 timber, a dead sheep, false teeth, golf balls, a credit card (which had been stolen from its owner and flushed down a pub toilet), a fax machine and a large Winnie the Pooh teddy.

In a storm tank at Gatehead, workers found a dead fully grown cow that had apparently fallen in after someone removed a manhole cover. Elsewhere workers discovered an Action Man figure (with his boots still on), a deckchair and an outboard motor for a boat.

Pink ladies bike and fax machine at East Kilbride.jpg
Pink ladies bike and fax machine found at East Kilbride

Scottish Water has launched their new campaign after it said it dealt with more than 40,000 blockages in the drains and sewer network. Most of these blockages were caused by cooking oil, nappies and baby wipes being put in sinks and toilets.

Their new campaign, which sees the screening of the company's first ever television advert tonight, aims to cut down on the blockages which the water company says costs around £7m a year and causes misery and flooding to thousands of households across the country.

The advert will also highlight the importance of saving water.

"Cooking fat, oils and grease coupled with bathroom waste such as cotton buds, nappies and baby wipes creates a perfect storm of solidified fat and material that can't breaks down easily like toilet paper and collects in large clumps beneath Scotland's streets. These blockages create costs of over £7million a year for the publicly owned utility firm," the company says.

Chris Wallace, Director of Communications, Scottish Water, said: "The waste water drain which runs from your house to the public sewer is usually only about four inches wide, which is less than the diameter of a DVD.

"This drain is designed to take only the used water from sinks, showers and baths and pee, poo and toilet paper from the toilet. Scottish Water believes the best way to tackle blocked drains and sewer flooding is to work with our customers to prevent blockages that can clog up the cycle in the first place."

Snake In the Work Dunfermline.jpg

Some of the objects found in Scottish Water sewers:

1) An outboard motor for a boat

2) A fully functioning clothes iron

3) A scaffolding pole

4) A football

5) Toy soldiers (used to be mounted on the wall at the waste water treatment works in Dumfries)

6) Deckchair

7) 2x4 timber

8) A dead sheep

9) A mattress

10) Hand truck /parcel trolley

11) False teeth

12) Golf balls

13) Lighters

14) Watches

15) Credit card that belonged to one of the guys - was stolen in the pub and flushed down the pub toilet.

16) Mobile phones

17) A frog was found inside the pump right next to the propeller - how he got in there is a mystery

18) A live badger was found in a pumping station well at Drongan

19) Traffic cone - Moodiesburn

20) Timber - Moodiesburn

21) A dead, fully grown, cow, found in the storm tanks at Gatehead. Turns out a cover had been removed from a manhole in a field and the cow had fallen in.

22) A pair of trousers recently turned up at Kirkcaldy waste water treatment works

23) A live otter from the aereation ditch at Dornoch wwtw

24) A live salmon at Seafield WWTW

25) A tractor tyre

26) An Action Man figure, who still had his boots on

27) An orange

28) A railway sleeper