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False teeth, mobile phones and toys -Take a look in Norwich’s sewers

PUBLISHED: 13:05 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:16 22 August 2018

Some of the wierd and wonderful items that have been recoved from blockages in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia Water

Some of the wierd and wonderful items that have been recoved from blockages in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia Water

Archant

People in Norwich are producing 30 tonnes of unflushable waste every week, more than Ipswich, Colchester and Chelsmford.

A mobile phone recoved from a blockage in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia WaterA mobile phone recoved from a blockage in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia Water

Running deep below Norwich’s streets are thousands of miles of sewers which form a vital part of the water system.

But, the network is being put under increased strain by the huge amount of unflushable material being put down toilets and drains every day.

Anglian Water, which looks after the region’s water network, including its sewers, is called to a blocked sewer every 15 minutes and spends more than £15m clearing blockages every year.

Of the 30,000 blockages Anglian Water deals with each year, the majority are caused by a build up of fats, oils, greases, sanitary products and wipes.

Some of the wierd and wonderful items that have been recoved from blockages in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia WaterSome of the wierd and wonderful items that have been recoved from blockages in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia Water

Across East Anglia, Norwich is the worst offender - flushing the equivalent of seven and a half elephants of unsuitable waste each week, more than Southend, Colchester and Ipswich, which produces the equivalent of six adult elephants, and Chelmsford, which produces roughly three.

A spokesperson for Anglian Water said: “Unflushable items don’t disintegrate like toilet paper in our sewers and cause blockages.

“We set up the Keep It Clear campaign to raise awareness of this issue and inspire behavioural change in the region.”

Not just a problem for the sewer network, the items also have a huge impact on the environment as blockages can cause sewer flooding and pollution incidents which can be devastating to wildlife.

Some of the wierd and wonderful items that have been recoved from blockages in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia WaterSome of the wierd and wonderful items that have been recoved from blockages in Norwich's sewer network. Picture: Anglia Water

A large number of unflushables also make their way to the sea, contributing to nearly 10pc of all beach litter.

And the body says that roughly 80pc of sewer blockages are avoidable.

In a bid to tackle the problem of blocked sewers Anglian Water have launched the Keep It Clear campaign and teamed up with the Marine Conservation society to support its project.

To find out more about the Keep It Clear campaign and how to help prevent blockages visit Anglia Water web site or wetwipesturnnasty.com

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