Northumbrian Water lists 10 weirdest sewer finds during lockdown

  • Published
PotatoesImage source, Northumbrian Water
Image caption,
Potatoes were found in a sewer in County Durham

A hard-boiled egg, a toy car and an unopened tin of peaches are among items fished out of sewers during lockdown.

Northumbrian Water is urging people not to use "their toilet as a bin" with the company battling blockages in the sewerage system.

The firm has listed its top 10 weirdest finds since the coronavirus lockdown began six weeks ago.

The main cause of blockages is still wet wipes, head of wastewater Simon Chyanko said.

Image source, Northumbrian Water
Image caption,
Red tights and a yellow bath toy were among items found in one blockage in North Tyneside

"It's beyond belief some of the weird things our teams uncover in our sewer network and we sometimes wonder what people are thinking," he said.

"We know accidents can happen and items get flushed by mistake, but sadly, some customers are using their toilet as a bin to flush things that have no place in our network.

"Blockages can have heartbreaking consequences, from causing people's homes to be flooded with toilet waste to the environment being polluted. It's really not nice to see."

Image source, Northumbrian Water
Image caption,
A peach tin and sock were also among the found items

The oddest items were:

  • A hard-boiled egg in County Durham
  • Socks in Stockton
  • A small unopened tin of peaches in South Shields
  • A cut up bed sheet close to a prison
  • Red tights in North Tyneside
  • Potatoes in County Durham
  • A pink hand towel in Stockton
  • A toy car in Middlesbrough
  • A dead fish in Sunderland
  • Loo freshener and a toy centipede in Cambois, Northumberland

Northumbrian Water started a Bin the Wipe campaign after finding about 64% of the 15,600 blockages cleared in 2019 were caused by wet wipes.

Follow BBC North East & Cumbria on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.