We've found Nemo!!!

16 May 2016

The search for Nemo has finally been called off as he was discovered safe and well…okay, not so well…at our sewage treatment works in Cheltenham this week. Poor Nemo was found nestled amongst a mass of wipes, nappies, cotton buds and sanitary products – all of which had been wrongly flushed down toilets in homes across Gloucestershire.

Fortunately for Nemo he was a rubber toy, but either way he shouldn’t have been flushed down the toilet and neither should any of the products he was found with, as Grant Mitchell from Severn Trent, explains:

“Nemo was spotted in a skip at our Hayden sewage treatment works which was full of all the things we have to remove because we can’t put them through the treatment process. To be honest I’m surprised he got that far, as he could have easily caused a blockage in the sewer pipes before he even got to the treatment works, especially with the amount of wipes wrapped around him.

“We can’t stress enough how important it is to only flush toilet paper down the toilet. Anything else should go into the bin. The drains that take waste water away from homes are only a few inches wide and are only meant to take water, toilet roll and human waste. Toilet roll is designed to break down when it gets wet so it washes easily through the system. That’s not the case with things like nappies, wipes, other sanitary products and Nemo, which can get stuck in smaller drains.”

So it looks like Nemo has had a lucky escape but next time he might not make it and could get stuck in the sewer pipes and cause a blockage. However sewer blockages, if not identified and cleared, can lead to sewers backing up and overflowing into people’s homes and gardens. 


Grant said: “It’s not necessarily the people who put the wrong things down the toilet that are affected by sewers overflowing. The blockage can happen further down the street, so what you do in your home can be causing a problem for your neighbours. We’d really encourage people to think before they flush, if not for us then for Nemo!”   


If you do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility you can report it here.