Dead horse among weird items found in sewers

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Image copyright Northumbrian Water
Image caption Waste workers in Durham cleared 13,000 blockages last year, costing Northumbrian Water £400,000

Cow carcasses, snakes, false teeth and a dead piranha were among the bizarre items found in sewers, a water company has said.

Waste workers in Durham cleared 13,000 blockages last year, costing Northumbrian Water £400,000.

A dead horse, thought to have been stuffed down a manhole, was also recovered, the firm said.

However, it said most blockages were caused by household items such as wet wipes and grease.

Image copyright Northumbrian Water
Image caption Blockages cost thousands each year to clear up

Chris Hepple, production operator, said uneaten food items were a big problem, with radishes the most common find.

"People must buy radishes and not eat them - we get a lot of radishes, oranges, potatoes coming into the works," he said.

"Found an old mobile phone the other day, of about 1980, and the odd bra, underpants, where I think people [have] had accidents in nearby pubs."

In 2007, a bra was found blocking a sewer pipe which burst , causing a road to collapse.

Northumbrian Water advised people to only flush away the three Ps - toilet paper, pee and poo.