Earlier this year Scottish Water launched a campaign to enlighten people about the hazards of flushing the ‘wrong things’ down the loo. Alarmingly, 80% of all sewer pipe blockages come from these items being flushed (accidentally or otherwise) away. Amongst the havoc caused, however, there sometimes arises a good ‘party tale’ to tell, like this Scottish worker reveals:

“A woman in Kippen called the sewage works to inform them that her husband, whilst being sick, had lost his false teeth down the loo. When the boss explained that he gets about six sets of these a month, she asked if her husband could come down and try some out to see if any of them were his.” The mind boggles!

Drains are primarily designed to cope with only used water, human waste and toilet paper. Relishing the idea of educating the public on this, Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, has stated:

“I welcome the launch of this new initiative by Scottish Water to raise awareness of how to keep the sewer system clear of waste. Where food waste is concerned, it’s important that consumers understand how to dispose of it properly. Over half of households across the country now have access to food recycling services and we are continuing to roll these out in towns and cities nationwide. Waste is a resource and there are significant environmental and economic benefits for Scotland if we work together to manage it more efficiently.”

Drain coverHere is the top 40 list of strange things flushed and found:

  1. An outboard motor for a boat
  2. A fully functioning clothes iron
  3. A scaffolding pole
  4. A football
  5. Toy soldiers
  6. Deckchair
  7. 2×4 timber
  8. A dead sheep
  9. A mattress
  10. Hand truck /parcel trolley
  11. False teeth
  12. Golf balls
  13. Lighters
  14. Watches
  15. A credit card which belonged to one of Scottish Water’s employees
  16. Mobile phones
  17. A frog
  18. A live badger
  19. Traffic cone
  20. Timber
  21. A dead, fully grown cow
  22. A pair of trousers
  23. A live otter
  24. A live salmon at Seafield works
  25. A tractor tyre
  26. An Action Man figure who still had his boots on
  27. An orange
  28. A railway sleeper
  29. A giant Winnie the Pooh cuddly toy
  30. A fax machine
  31. A pink bicycle
  32. A huge amount of straw
  33. A giant bucket full of potatoes
  34. A huge amount of turnips
  35. Carrots
  36. A white patio chair
  37. A golf club
  38. Enough apples to fill a pail
  39. A whole load of cooked potatoes
  40. Stones of all shapes and sizes

It’s incredible to imagine how half of these items got into the sewers, and impossible to imagine why?

(Photos by SuSanA Secretariat and BigDumbYak)