A foot long fatberg and a skip full of wrongly flushed items have been removed from a clogged up North East sewer.
The fatberg made up of congealed fats, oils and greases, was found at one of the company's sewage treatment works in the Cambois area, along with items ranging from wet wipes, nappies, cotton buds, condoms, sanitary products and needles that had all been wrongly flushed into the sewer system.
The fatberg, measuring around a foot long and around ten inches wide, took sewage crews from Northumbrian Water a full day to remove from the treatment works in Northumberland.
Fatbergs form when fats, oils and grease are wrongly poured down the sink and then harden in the sewer network. They then block pipes and items like wet wipes stick to them causing them to grow in size and cause problems.
Fat, oils and grease should be cooled before being disposed of in a bin. Northumbrian Water says one of the biggest problems is wet wipes, 64% of the 15,600 blockages cleared in 2019 were caused by them.
Which areas are the worst offenders for blockages in the North East? Here's the top ten hot spots in 2019:
- NE34 - South Shields (460 blockages)
- NE5 - Newcastle upon Tyne (323 blockages)
- DL1 - Darlington (309 blockages)
- NE23 - Northumberland (277 blockages)
- NE28 - North Tyneside (273 blockages)
- TS19 - Stockton-on-Tees (273 blockages)
- TS10 - Redcar and Cleveland (270 blockages)
- DH6 - County Durham (264 blockages)
- DH9 - County Durham (263 blockages)
- SR8 - County Durham (261 blockages)