Dead animals, knickers and false teeth…this Halloween Northumbrian Water is unveiling some of the scariest things that its workers have fished out of the drains.

The North East water company is urging people to ‘exorcise′ good drain care, and think carefully about what they flush or wash away, to avoid blocked pipes coming back to haunt them.


Last year, around 13,000 blockages had to be cleared, made up of things wrongly put down the drains. They can create nightmares for customers and lead to flooding in people′s homes.


Among the most frightening things found by water workers was a dead python and a redbellied piranha, both suspected to be unwanted pets flushed away after they had died.


Other weird things have included false teeth, knickers, boxers, toothbrushes and a hammer.


In 2007 a bra, which was found blocking a sewer in Teesside actually caused so much damage the sewer collapsed.


And ever wondered where those missing socks end up? Just this week, a matching pair of pink socks mysteriously turned up, stuck in a sewage pumping station in County Durham.


The scariest part is that most of the obstructions in the pipes are caused by everyday items like wet wipes, fats and greases.


It costs the water company nearly £400,000 every year, sending wipes, sanitary towels and cotton buds to landfill, where the items should have gone in the first place.


Northumbrian Water′s Wastewater Director, Richard Warneford, said: "Blocked drains are a costly nightmare and there′s a lot at stake if we don′t look after them properly.


"It′s frightening how much damage things like wet wipes and greasy liquids can cause to our networks, customers homes and the environment. Wet wipes don′t break down like toilet paper and can clog up the system, while fats congeal and harden in pipes like a concrete.


"To avoid a scare this Halloween, there′s a simple trick…only flush toilet paper, pee and poo. Everything else goes in the bin."