What could be lurking in your drains? Horrifying discoveries in Britain's waterways


Halloween-worthy stories of Britains drains

It’s been a while since we have heard awful news stories of terrible things being found lurking in our drains, but trust us, things are still piling up down there, and some of the stories (not to mention the smells) truly are perfect for a Halloween blog! Let’s take a look at the worst things found in Britain’s drains over the years. 

A car

Yes, we know! As difficult as it may be to believe, half a mini was found down in the drain depths of London in 2014. Whilst we are sure no one flushed their mini down their toilet or sink, it does beg the question, how did the mini manage to get into the London sewer system?

A sheep 

A Surrey-born sheep, no longer happy with his surroundings, somehow managed to make its way into the drains to find a new home. Found happy, healthy and most importantly, alive, it was eventually reunited with its flock. It is unknown how long the sheep was living down in the drains!

Giant fatbergs

A horror many of us will remember from the news bulletins, a 250m long fatberg was found in the London sewage system. Weighing the same as approximately 19 African elephants, the fatberg was the result of a whole manner of materials that were flushed down the drains, clogging together and forming a monster of fat. Fatbergs are a common problem in sewers, but they are not generally this size! 

False teeth

Probably more common than you initially think, false teeth are often found floating in all corners of the sewage network in Britain. Whether they are flushed down the toilet by an unsuspecting toddler or dropped through the drainwork in the street, it’s amazing how many sets of teeth you will find under the ground. 


When Lanes Group found a river of blood down in the sewers, this was definitely a terrifying sight. Whilst you expect small particles of blood to be washed into the drains from a household injury, you don’t expect the amount of blood that was found. Whilst a reason was never identified, Lanes Group hope that it was a result of medical supplies being improperly disposed of!  

Less scary but no less annoying – common items found in drains

Now that we have looked at the worst things ever found inside our drains, it’s time to talk about what is more commonly building up outside our homes, all of which could have serious implications on the plumbing in our houses if not dealt with quickly and effectively. We are sure you will have heard of these products in drains before, and some of you may even be guilty of flushing them down the toilet at some point! 

Baby wipes – whilst baby wipes are disposable, they don’t dissolve in water, making them a nightmare for drains. They stick to anything and can quickly clog your drain. 

Hair – we all know that hair can often be the bain of a plug hole’s life. But often, we don’t notice just how much hair can come off us when we shower. Add in soap and products, and this can quickly become a gooey mass in your drains. 

Food scraps – Your drains are small, and it doesn’t take much to clog them with food scraps that have come off your plate. If you think of how much food escapes down your plug every day, you will understand why drains can get clogged quickly. 

Expensive toilet paper – it may look and feel nice, but your 4-ply toilet paper means you are flushing twice as much toilet paper down the loo as you need. Stick to a smaller ply and protect your drains! 

Coffee – no, we aren’t talking about your average cup of instant, but coffee grounds from your weekend pot will not dissolve in your sink and can build up in the corners of piping to clog your drains. 

Cotton buds – you may be wondering who would think to put a plastic cotton bud down the sink or toilet, but you would be surprised. Cotton buds don’t dissolve and will attach themselves to other things in your drain, clogging up the pipes. 

5 practical tips for keeping your drain clog-free 

Drain guards could help – If you are guilty of tipping food down the plug and hoping for the best, your drain could be under some serious pressure. If this sounds like you, a drain protector could be the best thing for your kitchen. You can also get them to stop the hair from travelling down your bath plug as well.

Avoid grease in your kitchen sinks – Whilst grease may pour down your sink like a dream when it’s hot, it will soon get cold and start to solidify. This means grease will start to build up in your pipes, and your drain and debris will stick to it, forming clogs. 

Flush your plugs with hot water after washing up – You might be really careful not to get grease from pots and pans down your plug, but the chances are it may still build up over time. To avoid this, ensure you run some boiling water through your sink after every wash. 

Limit your beauty product usage – Your skincare routine is important, and you shouldn’t have to change it, but exfoliants that don’t dissolve will do no good going down your sink. Using a drain guard will help to avoid a build-up of products. 

Get your drains regularly maintained – The problem with your drains is that you cannot see what is slowly clogging up and when you are likely to run into issues. For this reason, we recommend getting your drains checked regularly

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The hosepipe ban 2022: What does this really mean?

Let Three Counties Plumbing look after your drains this winter

If you are worried about your domestic plumbing and drainage and would like to get everything checked out before the winter weather arrives and your home is full for Christmas, get in touch with Three Counties Plumbing today. We can support you with unblocking your drains, general maintenance and regular check-ups of your plumbing to ensure your home is always safe

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