Watched ITV’s “Sewer men”? Learn about fatbergs, wastewater and what not to flush!

Sewer Men - ITV documentary about wastewater workers

Chances are that you might have caught ITV’s new observational documentary “Sewer men” and saw our engineers working alongside West Midlands water company Severn Trent Water to keep Britain’s drains clear.

In this two-part mini-series ITV’s cameras follow wastewater workers for three months as they navigate sewers, unblock toilets, pipes and drains, going waist-deep in sewers clogged with wet wipes and fat.

Two Severn Trent workers in orange high visibility, reflective jackets

But there are many more things that should never end up down the toilet, take a look at our Dirty Dozen poster to find out more. Our research from last year showed that despite most people being confident about what they should and shouldn’t flush, a shocking 10% of people have flushed a dead pet down the toilet, almost a quarter of the surveyed admitted to pouring down cooking oil and meat fat down the sink, and every 8th person flushes wet wipes.

Fat, cooking oil, and grease (FOG) combined with wet wipes are the building blocks of fatbergs which can grow to the size of a bus or even a commercial airliner. The largest one, discovered in February 2019 in Liverpool is still being removed as the programme aired. These are especially a problem in ageing Victorian sewers but have occurred around the globe causing blockages in New York, Denver, Valencia and Melbourne.

Still from the second episode of Sewer Men - Two Lanes for Drains workers in a Truck

In the second part of this ITV documentary, you will get to see how sewage workers Pete and Shawn tackle clearing a blockage outside a prison, unclog a pumping station in Staffordshire, and see what happens after a storm when the drains are overflowing – and how John and Jason resolve this issue. Severn Trent Water’s CEO will also talk about how her job impacts conversations she has in her private life. Tune into ITV on Thursday, 1st of August at 9 pm to find out more!

If you have any comments or questions please use hashtag #sewermen to join the conversation.

Still from the first episode of Sewer Men - A team of workers

Two Severn Trent workers in day glow high visibility jackets, smiling

People working next to a vacuum truck tanker