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Unusual items discovered in sewers

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Grace Frost
Grace Frosthttps://www.grace.com
Hi, I'm Grace. Im a passionate story writer and I love all things digital!

YARRA Valley Water has exposed unusual items recovered from Melbourne’s sewers under its social media campaign to change people’s habits.

The water utility – which services across a 4000-kilometre area of Victoria, including the south of Mitchell Shire and City of Whittlesea municipalities – spends about $1 million a year to remove objects, fats, and wet wipes from sewers after causing blockage.

A galah, money and blankets were among bizarre items found in Melbourne’s sewers.

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Yarra Valley Water has dealt with more than 1300 blockages in the sewer network last year.

Yarra Valley Water has dealt with more than 1300 blockages in the sewer network last year – most were caused by people putting cooking oil, hygiene products and wet wipes down sinks and toilets.

General manager of distribution services Bridie Fennessy said the wastewater network had evidence of everything from snakes, cotton buds to even children’s toys.

“Everything that goes down the kitchen, showers, laundry and bathroom sink or that is flushed down the toilet ends up in the sewerage system,” she said.

“Many things that are flushed down the toilets are simply not suitable for flushing and the safest option is to put it in the bin.”

In 2020, a 42-tonne fatberg was removed from a sewer in Wallan, weighing more ‘than an average petrol tanker’, taking workers hours to dislodge and remove from the sewer.

Fatbergs are created when wet wipes congeal with fats and oil poured down the drain, causing huge blockages costing anything up to $1000 to clear.

As part of the campaign, Yarra Valley Water is requesting people think twice about flushing everyday items down the toilet, including non-flushable wet wipes, cotton buds, dental floss, fats, paint, rubbish, money and toys.

“Only flush the 3Ps and wet wipes that show the flushable symbol – and make sure you allow cooking fats and oils to cool before putting them in the bin rather than pouring them down the sink,” Ms Fennessy said.

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