Sewage Worker Saves Goldfish After it is Flushed Down the Toilet

by Scott Douglas

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Scottish Water worker Jake HueyA SEWAGE plant worker saved the life of a pet goldfish when he found it close to death after a trip through Scotland’s sewer network.

Jake Huey, who works at Philipshill Waster Water Treatment Works (WWTW), was carrying out routine maintenance work when he discovered the live fish.

It had been caught in the fine mesh screens which are used to filter out nappies, sanitary products and other material which is wrongly flushed down the toilet by thousands of people.

Scottish Water operator Jake was cleaning the screens when he spotted the brightly-coloured fish a the WWTW near East Kilbride.

He grabbed the stricken creature and sprinted for the main treatment building, where he set up an emergency tank, saving the acquatic animal, which has now been nicknamed ‘Pooh’.

Jake added: “It was just an immediate reaction. Obviously someone thought their pet was on its last legs and flushed it down the toilet, which obviously we wouldn’t advise.

Fish survives trip through sewer

“The fish has rallied as it made its way through the waste water network underneath the streets of East Kilbride and popped up in our screens.”

It is common for many families to flush pet fish down the toilet when they have died. However Scottish Water has urged its customers to pay closer attention to what can appropriatedly be flushed away – and what cannot.

Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed away, while such as nappies, sanitary products, condoms, hygienic wipes and cotton buds – and expired pet fish –  should be bagged and binned with household rubbish.

Inapproprate waste can cause a multitude of problems including blocked sewers, costly damage to screens in treatment works – and in most extreme cases can lead to unsightly waste being washed up on beaches.

Weird and wonderful items found in sewers

A recent study by Scottish Water found that items such as deckchairs, a mattress, false teeth, an outboard motor and even a parcel trolley had been found in its waste water network.

The utility giant is now encouraging customers to dispose of such rubbish responsibly, and play their part in protecting Scotland’s environment. Customers can check the Scottish Water website for information on the Bag It and Bin It campaign

Jake added: “This is one lucky little fish. We just need to find a good home for him now.”

Scottish public relations agency Holyrood Partnership provides strategic support to Scottish Water with its PR in Scotland. More details are available from the Scottish Water press office

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