News

Thousands at risk of blocked toilets after child’s lawnmower toy found dumped in sewer

Thousands of people have been put at risk of having blocked toilets after a child’s lawnmower toy was found dumped in the sewer.

Residents of the Boothferry estate in Hull, East Yorkshire, watched on as blockage crews spent three hours removing other items including wet wipes and sanitary towels from the drains.

Yorkshire Water also said the toy lawn mower caused a “significant blockage”, with another crew taking four hours to hault it out and clear the backlog within the sewer.

It’s prompted the water company to remind residents what they can and can’t flush down the toilet, HullLive reports.

Miles Cameron, regional operations manager for Yorkshire Water, said: “Clearly, this toy [lawnmower] wasn’t flushed into the network, but may have been thrown into an open manhole during a building project.

“We would encourage people to speak with their children and explain the problems toys and other foreign objects can cause in the sewer.

“We find children engage really well with education around the sewers and what happens to the waste once it leaves their home and we continue to offer education sessions to schools in the area about all our operations.”

He added: “Only the three 3Ps – pee, poo and paper – should be flushed down the toilet. Many wet wipes and sanitary items contain plastic and do not break down in the sewer as toilet paper does.

“These items can then group together and restrict the flow of wastewater to treatment works. In the worst cases, these blockages can lead to people being unable to use their toilets, sewage escaping the network onto roads and paths, or even pollution of local watercourses.”