Severn Trent speaks out on sewer misuse – it’s no Joker 

Friday 11 November 2022

It was no laughing matter for Severn Trent teams when they pulled The Joker out of a sewer pipe in Worcester recently.

When Severn Trent engineers responded to reports of sewer flooding in a customer’s garden in Great Meadow, they found the Clown Prince of Crime, a long way from Gotham, blocking the network. 

Grant Mitchell, from Severn Trent, said: “On some fortunate occasions, we’re able to clear blockages caused by sewer misuse before they cause any major problems. However, on this occasion, the figure, along with a broom handle and other unflushables such as wet wipes, led to sewer flooding, which is a horrible thing for anyone to experience, especially when it’s completely avoidable.

“Our teams find bizarre items like this in our network regularly, along with other items such as sanitary products and wipes, which are often incorrectly flushed down the toilet. To avoid blockages, we advise only ever flushing the three P’s – pee, paper and poo, and disposing of kitchen fats, oils and greases, once cooled, in the bin.”

In the last year alone, Severn Trent has battled thousands of blockages across the region, and with the average home sewer pipe being c.150mm in diameter, the same as a new roll of toilet paper, it’s easy to see how misuse can quickly cause sewage to back up into people’s homes, the street or even into the local environment, causing cause major incidents.

Grant added: “As we head into winter, the waste network pipes get colder and any fats which have been washed down the drain can quickly solidify in the pipe, which can quickly cause a blockage. The good news is that blockages are avoidable if people are careful about what they put down your toilet and wash down the sink.”

For further information and ways to avoid sewer misuse, visit   

If customers do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility they can be reported at or by calling 0800 783 4444.