Break taboos surrounding loos...

Southern Water's Martin Coote with Bruce, a lifejacket and a rubber duck, all found in the sewerage system
Southern Water's Martin Coote with Bruce, a lifejacket and a rubber duck, all found in the sewerage system

NO WONDER he looks grumpy – this fluffy orange monster was pulled out of a sewer pipe at a wastewater treatment works.

Dubbed Bruce by the team that found him, the cuddly creature is just one of a haul of potty items that have found their way into the sewers.

As well as a variety of other toys, they include a rubber duck and even a life jacket, which Bruce has since taken to wearing.

All these items have ended up Southern Water’s wastewater treatment works, along with more common culprits like wet wipes and sanitary items.

They cause sewer blockages, which can lead to flooding of homes, gardens, rivers or beaches

In the last 18 months, there have been almost 400 sewer blockages in the Littlehampton area caused by things that should not be in the sewers, more than 350 in the Worthing area, and 150 in Shoreham.

Tuesday was World Toilet Day, which aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to global sanitation issues, and Southern Water took the opportunity to remind people what they should and should not be flushing down the loo.

Southern Water process operator Martin Coote said: “Some of things we find in the sewers or at our treatment works do raise a smile, like Bruce did, but the potential consequences – such as homes flooded with wastewater – are serious.

“According to the charity WaterAid, 2.5 billion people, around one in three of the world’s population, don’t have a safe, clean, private toilet.

“Therefore, we should all take more pride in our own toilets and sewers.”

More information on World Toilet Day can be found online, at www.wateraid.org/worldtoiletday

For details of what should and should not be flushed away, log on to the website www.southernwater.co.uk/paininthedrain