‘Yule’ never believe what Thames Water pulled out of a sewer in a Surrey beauty spot this week.
This five-foot Christmas tree had been forced into an 18-inch wide underground pipe and was causing foul waste to leak into Broad Street Common, Guildford.
Thames Water teams were shocked by the discovery. Instead of baubles, tinsel and lights, scores of wet wipes, nappies and other unflushables were left hanging from the branches.
Visitors to the green space had to avoid the area around the manhole while the 12-hour removal operation and clean-up took place.
Thames Water’s Stuart White said: “This is a new chapter in our ‘Bin it – don’t block it’ campaign story. It’s incredible to think that anybody could be irresponsible enough to jam a Christmas tree into a sewer anywhere, let alone in the middle of an area of outstanding natural beauty.
“Normally blockages are caused by fat, oil and wet wipes building up in the sewer, but this time we’ve had to clean up because of a fully-formed tree decorated with wipes filling the pipe. The entire episode was completely avoidable. Please help us keep the sewers flowing and please remember they are not an abyss for household rubbish.”
Sewers are designed to take only loo roll, dirty water and human waste. Every year Thames Water, serving 15 million people in London and the Thames Valley, spends a million pounds every month clearing fatbergs and blockages in its 68,000 miles of sewers.