Disturbing Discoveries: 9 Strange Things Found in Plumbing and Sewers
Although seafarers are the ones with a reputation for wild stories, life in the sewers is no more predictable than life on the sea. Plumbers, sanitation workers, and other specialists often uncover the strangest things hiding in pipes and sewers. Some of the most bizarre plumbing discoveries include:
The Justice League (in Miniature)
As any parent will tell you, once a child figures out how to flush a toilet, he or she will never stop. Plumbers investigating a plugged drain often find that Batman, Wonder Woman, or any of a wide range of other superhero action figures is usually the culprit. Apparently, when it isn’t out fighting crime, the Justice League is committing mischief in America’s pipes!
When most people think of animals that get caught in the sewer, they imagine snakes, lizards, alligators, and other critters that inhabit dark, wet places. Few would believe that a sheep could be caught in the pipes, yet this is exactly what happened in a Surrey sewer. Authorities believe that it climbed in through a nearby water outlet and became lost.
A live baby was found in a sewer pipe in China. Experts carefully took the pipe apart and removed the baby, who survived the ordeal. How the baby got in the pipe is anyone’s guess, but many suppose that the mother flushed it down the drain in an attempt to commit infanticide.
Though consumers are often instructed not to pour cooking fat down the drain, few are warned of the consequences that result when they do. Fat accumulates on the walls of pipes and sewers, blocking other items and creating a health hazard. Plumbers often have to clean fat out of drains, while sewer workers sometimes must remove huge walls of fat from sewers.
Bullets and Explosives
World War II, and especially the Blitz, left London littered with bullets, many of which were never accounted for. These items continue to turn up in sewers and pipes throughout the city. Besides bullets, London plumbers and municipal authorities have also found World War II-era grenades in the city’s central sewers.
Those with false teeth often drop their dentures down the drain while cleaning them. The teeth make their way down the drains and into the sewers, where they are later recovered by plumbers and sewer workers. Despite the fact that the teeth have been in the sewer, the owners often demand them back to use again.
Prisoners often flush their belongings down prison toilets as an act of protest. One particularly skilled prisoner managed to flush an entire pair of pants down the toilet. The authorities were not impressed, and added another month to his sentence, but at least the perpetrator can say he now has a good understanding of the intricacies of plumbing.
Undergarments are the source of a surprisingly large number of clogs, and plumbers fish so many pairs of underwear out of pipes that it’s become a veritable specialty of the job. How these garments get into the sewers in the first place is anyone’s guess, but it may be the handiwork of mischievous children and horribly clueless adults.
Larger sewers and flood tunnels are often the sites of makeshift homes. Addicts, debtors, and others on the run from society often end up in the sewers, only to be discovered by sewer workers making their rounds.
Whether your pipes are full of large animals and superheroes or just run-of-the-mill clogs, Bill Fenwick Plumbing can help. We offer plumbing services such as gas line repair, water heater installation, sewer line repair, drain cleaning, and tankless water heater replacement. For more information, visit our website today.