Danny Brackley, London Trunk sewer inspector, aka "sewer flusher"

We have looked at some of the stories of what goes on down in the sewers under our streets and homes, from working safely in the sewer to the things that get poured down the drains …even love in the sewers! And we’ve also inspected the historic city of London and the Thames River Valley, where nearly 20 billion liters of waste water is flushed down the sewers daily. The sewers may be out of sight but they’re under a huge strain with all the fats and oils that are dumped, causing pipe-blocking Fatbergs. That’s were the famous “sewer flushers” of London swoop in, like Batman, performing 24/7 job to keep the flow going! RIONED admires the Sewer Sweepers who spend their days and nights dealing with these problems!

Martin Wall, London Sewer supervisor, aka "senior flusher"
Martin Wall, London Sewer supervisor, aka "senior flusher"

The job has its oddities, and the sewer flushers tell stories of items they have found in the pipes and tunnels, from false teeth, to baby crayfish to even an unexploded hand grenade! And these days in London, even local London celebrities get into the act of flushing sewers! BBC broadcasters have recently been taking the sewers by storm to show their loyal viewers across London what happens when they flush. 

Sewer flusher in the old days
The look was a bit different for sewer flushers in the old days like the mid 20th century, but oh the fashion!

It takes hard work and dedication to keep the waste water flowing, and we can take a part by being careful with what we flush. Here are some tips on what causes blockages and to keep your drains flowing, like wet wipes - they are a major issue because they are made of plastic. They don’t break down like toilet tissue, and they clog the system. There are confusing and misleading product labels out there, encouraging consumers to flush items that will take years to break down. So when in doubt, “bin it, don’t block it,” and lend a hand to the hard working sewer flushers working below!


Images one and two via Thameswater.co.uk
Images via sewerhistory.org