Spot the April Fool’s: 13 things found in Welsh Water sewers

1 April 2022

Looking after 36,000km of sewer network - enough to stretch to Australia and back - is no mean feat.

It’s a 24/7 logistical and technical operation for Welsh Water, the only not-for-profit utility company in England and Wales, that ensures the people of Wales and parts of Herefordshire can rely on a first-class service that takes their dirty water away with a simple flush and without a second thought.

If only it were that simple...

  • Welsh Water estimates that it tackles around 20,000 blockages a year, at a cost of around £5 million every year to the company - money which could otherwise be spent on its services, network improvements or even lowering customer bills.
  • Around two thirds of sewer blockages on Welsh Water’s network are caused by substances like fat, oil and grease (FOG), wet wipes and sanitary products being flushed down the loo, plus other items, objects and even animals that you would never imagine would end up in your sewers.

Take a look at this list, can you identify which item has never been found in a Welsh Water sewer?

1. Welsh Water were not amoosed to find a cow in the network around ten years ago
2. Brace yourself: They came across a full set of false teeth lurking in the depths of an inlet in Anglesey
3. Four bin bags full of wet wipes found in Ammanford
Wet Wipes

4. Talk about a diamond in the rough, they even found a wedding ring in Anglesey, which was fortunately reunited with its owner (after a thorough clean!)
5. This is not a drill: A sledgehammer was found in Swansea
6. Family of otters weaseling around in Marshfield, St Mellons, Newport
Otter family
7. A four foot long corn snake made hissstory as it was discovered by Welsh Water teams in a sewer in Caernafon. The large snake could have been flushed down a toilet and RSPCA Cymru attended to rescue the scaly escape artist which was lovingly named ‘Ghengis Corn’ by colleagues.
Corn snake
8. Welsh Water teams were nuts about the coconut they found in a sewer in Swansea
9. A rectangular bucket which caused days of blockage and a huge mess…
10. Ahem… an adult toy in Pembroke Dock
11. Here’s some concrete evidence for you - building bricks have been found causing major blockages.
12. A tree root ‘man’ in Clydach, Swansea
Tree Roots

13. Unfortunately, this dog’s dinner was flushed and the teams found a dog bone in the sewers in Swansea.
Dog bone

Think you’ve spotted which one isn’t real? Sadly, this is no joke. All of these items have been found in Welsh Water sewers. Whilst not all of them had been flushed, many of them had, and caused a huge amount of unnecessary work for the Wastewater teams.

Next time you flush, remember there are essential workers at the other end of the pipe and you should only flush the three P’s down your loo: Pee, poo and toilet paper.