Calling Eileen – we have your pants!

17th April 2018

The Severn Trent team at Hayden Sewage Treatment Works in Cheltenham made an interesting discovery when they fished a pair of ‘Eileen’s’ underpants out of the system.

The pants, size 14 and possibly belonging to an Eileen going on the label, were removed before they could cause any blockages but the unexpected find highlighted one of the issues the water company finds on a daily basis.

Paul Tingle, Community Relationship Adviser at Severn Trent, said: “We find all sorts of things in our sewers and in treatment works that simply shouldn’t be there because they could cause blockages.“I don’t think I need to tell anyone that putting your pants down the toilet is a bad idea, and ‘Eileen’ is very lucky that she didn’t cause the sewer pipe to flood both her home and her neighbours.

“There’s a reason why we ask everyone to only put three Ps down the toilet – pee, poo and paper. Certainly not pants!

“Even if they make it through our sewer pipes, which are often no more than six inches in diameter, the pants could clog up our treatment works so we want everyone to think long and hard about what they put down the toilet. But never pants, that’s just odd!”

Other things that Severn Trent has pulled out of its sewers include tennis balls and a motorbike broken down into parts.

The company has been working with businesses in Cheltenham for some time to reduce the instances of hardened fat blocking the sewers, offering help and advice to them to reduce the number of times teams are called out to deal with the problem.