Severn Trent teams ‘exhausted’ after find car parts down a drain

8th October 2018

At Severn Trent we’ve found some strange things in our sewers – from tennis balls to pants – but our teams were ‘wheeley’ amazed to find the cause of a sewer flood in Telford.

The team spent a number of hours trying to jet out a sewer on wasteland next to the M54 in Shropshire but weren’t getting anywhere fast so decided they needed to start digging to find out exactly what was causing the problem.

Once they got further in, they were shocked to find that a car bumper and car battery, along with a number of other car-related items, were blocking the sewer.

They even found most of an old car nearby that had seen considerably better days.

Joe Plimmer from Severn Trent said: “This was a new one for everyone involved in the dig – I know other teams have found some strange things but, when we pulled out the car bumper, we were all a bit gobsmacked and then, when we pulled the battery out, we started to wonder what else we might find down there. 

“It’s not unusual to have problems clearing drains but none of us have had a situation where someone’s clearly been stripping a car and putting bits down one of our manholes.”

Severn Trent teams, along with contractors Amey, took more than 24 hours to clear the sewer, especially as they also found parts of a toilet and a wooden pallet, and were really ‘tyred’ at the end of the day.

“On a more serious note, putting all of these inappropriate things down the manhole has damaged our sewer pipe so we’ll need to go out again to fix it,” said Joe. 

“Thankfully, the area where we’re working is wasteland so no customers have been affected but, had this been nearer to houses, it could easily have led to someone’s home or garden being flooded.”

Severn Trent’s sewers are designed to take paper, pee and poo. Anything else should be put in the bin, or, in this case, taken to a scrapyard, to help avoid nasty blockages and sewer flooding.

“Flooding can have horrible consequences for our customers, but it’s something that’s easily avoidable,” adds Joe. 

“By remembering the 3-P’s – paper, pee and poo – we can keep the sewers up to speed and problem free for all of our customers.”